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Reading Script – Dr. Joshua Farmer Interview

Reading Script – Dr. Joshua Farmer Interview

Interviewer:

Dr. Farmer, thank you for meeting with me today, I know that you must be extremely busy.

Josh:

Yes, good morning.

Interviewer:

I’ve been talking with some of the other members of your colony, and I’m so impressed. Each of you is so accomplished. You are real role models all of you. I just wanted to say again how grateful I am that you would take the time to speak to me.

Josh:

Really, it’s no problem.

Interviewer:

Dr. Farmer. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Josh:

My story isn’t as dramatic as some of the other colonists. I’m just a regular guy working my dream job.

Interviewer:

So, did you always plan to live on the moon.

Josh:

Me, no, I love the Earth.

Interviewer:

But … You must have wanted to colonize the moon for a long time, right?

Josh:

Not necessarily?

Interviewer:

So then, how did you get involved in the colony? How did you end up…living in space?

Josh:

Well, I’ve always loved space and spaceflight, ever since I was a kid. My parents would read me classic Science Fiction like Jules Verne and Heinlein. But more than that, I loved stories of the moon program and NASA. I was a real space nut that way. Able to spout out facts before I was in middle school.

My uncle was a farmer. I used to spend every summer working with my cousins at the farm. It was completely normal for me to study agriculture, but I found that I was more interested in Space agriculture.

I got my doctorate from Iowa State, and then went off to do my post doc. There aren’t really that many places that do Space agriculture at that level, so when I got an offer from Rob Lerner to join the team at the ISF research station in Arizona, I took it. I worked there, and now I’m here.

Interviewer:

But what particularly led you to want to join the first private space colony in human history?

Josh:

Well, I guess I wanted to be here to make sure it was done right.

You see, when I looked at the way other people were planning space colonies I realized that no one was really seein’ the real problem with having large numbers of people in space. It seemed that no one was realizing that the key to space colonization is agriculture.

Interviewer:

Agriculture?

Josh:

Yes, of course.

Name me one civilization which was not based on agriculture? If the government cannot feed its people it will fall. So I was expecting agriculture to be higher on the priorities of space flight organizations, but it seems like they forgot about it.

Engineers seem to think that they can go to the Moon and Mars and build cities that live off of protein pills and salad machines. It’s just ridiculous. They don’t realize that people need to eat to live.

Interviewer:

You say that with a bit of distain. This is an important issue with you is it?

Josh:

Of course. It seemed as if no one was addressing the real problems, and without that, nothing would ever get done.

Interviewer:

You have a degree in Space Agriculture.

Josh

That is correct.

Interviewer:

What was your thesis on?

Josh

Increasing the yield of Maize crops grown in closed systems by temporal modification of the carbon dioxide concentration .

Interviewer:

What’s that again?

Josh:

You see people have this mistaken idea that crops grow primarily because of the soil, but you know that the mass of a plant comes primarily from carbon in the air. Well, of course the water adds weight, but the Carbon is what builds sugar. And it’s sugar that we grow the plants for in the first place.

Well I was able to increase the yield of space based crops through fluctuating the Carbon Dioxide concentration during the life cycle. Actually it was a little more complicated than that. There are other factors, but I didn’t suppose that you were interested in a technical discussion so I didn’t bring any of my data. Do you want we to get the data?

Interviewer
No, Thank you. I was wondering if we could talk a little about your family. They live in the colony with you as well. What is their role in the colony, or are they primarily here to support you?

Josh:

Ah, they are definitely not here just for me. My son maybe.

You see, my wife Anya is the business manager, and my fifteen year old son Tim is in charge of communications. He is a bit young for such a position of authority, but people start working young on a farm, plus he’s a really good kid. He’s really good in his studies. He’s almost never off-thread. He can be a bit annoying sometimes.

Interviewer:

(laughs) So can you tell me more about your wife. So, she has reasons to want to be on a space colony?

Josh:

Anya, my wife, is a Titova. You know Titova Kosmochevski we call it Titova Aerospace. Builds Rockets. That was founded by her grandfather Igor Titov. And then their’s silver star satellites. That’s her company. I mean she owns it. Her family, they are space all the way, so living here is …well, let’s just say she was for it.

Interviewer:

I see. So can you tell me Dr. Farmer. What does it feel like to be a hero?

Josh:

Ha!

I’m not a hero. I’m just a guy. I guess you can say that I’m a pioneer, because all of us are, in a way, pioneers. But heros?

Rob…Dr. Robert Learner likes to talk about how we are blazing a trail for everyone who comes behind us. I suppose that’s true. I like to be a trailblazer, but I don’t think of myself as a hero.

(Alarm beeps)

Josh

Sorry, I’m going to have to go now.

Interviewer:

Thank you again for giving us some of your precious time.

Josh:

Don’t mention it.

Discussion

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