James Cockerham

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since Apr 28, 2013
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Recent posts by James Cockerham

Saw this Open Source Cargo Container Plan earlier and got to thinking.


I have have a lot of projects going on, and it will be nice to have them isolated while under one roof.

Thinking something like a well insolated warehouse for 5 20 foot containers. Strawbale or something with a rocket mass heater, and ventilation for cooling. Some solar panels or whatever local alt energy is most abundant.

All utilities offloaded to the warehouse, while each container is purpose built, and remains portable so a lift system installed in warehouse roof can lift and lower a container onto a trailer.

Might be worth investigating standard garage and trailer systems for that purpose. Cost of wood vs metal frame and related container management systems for each type of frame.

Think one container for personal quarters, one for general tools, could have one for utilities but can offload to warehouse, one container to house space observation lab equipment, a container for Burning Man Projects, etc.

Main purpose is to work year round in climate controlled environment, with very low long term housing overhead and be able to ship a project container off as needed. Containers can either return, or be sent to a new home freeing up space for a new project. Figured 5 containers for a max of 5 projects happening at any one time, to fit in a 5 day work week.

Might setup more comfortable personal housing near the warehouse once complete, and create 501c3 or LLC for each container depending on project types for US tax reporting purposes.

Guess a warehouse isn't so tiny, but this idea began small.


Looking for ideas and experienced advice. Thanks.
1 year ago
Going to reread permaculture materials (it's been 10 years) to determine what is scalable over long durations of time and change.

I have a software project to match Permies forum topics to any development property of interest, that's on Earth. Going beyond Earth is a different story for now requiring a lot of basic life support infrastructure that's entirely artificial.

Going to work on modular recipe card decks of permaculture that work better with software. Will work on a core deck which is universally applicable, and niche decks which are only applicable under certain conditions, like the climate zones for example.

Will probably rewrite this topic for clarity and post in more appropriate areas.
2 years ago
Contemplation of permaculture content in space, kind of recontextualizes what Permaculture is.

I would say permaculture is local, as what maybe permanent culture in one area, maybe not be applicable in another. A few things I see as universal permanent culture, solar system wide would be a common transportation system, language, communication systems, historical records, and perfected, reasonably flawless governance.

Errors in management could reduce the permanence of a system wide civilization, like the lands of milk and honey in biblical examples as they are today. The rate at which we consume resources will need to optimized to sustain life, system wide at least until our star runs out of fuel.
2 years ago
Found this idea to turn a moon crater into an enclosed dome.

Once the idea is applied and perfected, other domes can be constructed, leaving the soil beneath available as a test site for traditional Earth based systems of permaculture practice.

From what I see so far, the lunar soil would need to ferment under Atmospheric pressure in the presence of liquid water and microbial life before it would be able to grow something directly, other than mullein.


Not sure what optimal designs would be for materials from local manufacturing. Titanium beams, and 3 meter thick glass. I guess titanium beams in place of wood, and thinner glass for windows and greenhouse glass for structures under the dome. Maybe a titanium structure for Wofati or Earthship design.

On Mars, I read it has toxic soil, but no reason a similar dome idea couldn't work there.
2 years ago
Pretty sure any surface structures in space locations with little to no atmosphere will be built within an artificial bubble of atmosphere at first, until some sort of terraforming happens.

Possibly look at production outputs within the Biosphere project as a material base to build with.


So, building within a big pressurized structure would be a likely option, but not an option available at first until the infrastructure to build within is created.
2 years ago
I think perhaps something like the Straw-bale Earthship idea would eventually be viable with outputs from a large green house infrastructure.

Pretty sure an average space colony will have more straw output than used tires. Straw material is a good insulator, but have no idea on it's ability to withstand extreme pressure differences with relative vacuum outside. Perhaps Earth bags can be used to add some meaningful thermal mass in key areas or to reinforce the Straw-bale structure by adding a protective relatively thin thermal mass shell to the insulator.

2 years ago
I think overall, the moon will be a manufacturing base to launch things needed elsewhere since it has no atmosphere making heavy things less difficult to get off it's surface.

Astroid mining will be a thing. So, Ceres will likely be a place to process raw material, and manufacture items.

Mars and Venus will likely become Terraforming projects to create habitat for life. Mining will be a thing once launching extremely heavy payloads is cost effective.

The ice moons further out in our system are probably the most habitable places beyond Earth since they have a large amount of the key ingredient of life as we know it, with no thick atmosphere to pass through in order to access it.

The mining and manufacture of things will take awhile before things equalize and systems are perfected. We don't even have that perfected on Earth currently.

Terraforming projects will also be awhile before results and feedback happen. Who knows the biological impact?

I also think there will be a common solar system wide governance regulating transportation. Other than transportation, other areas will most likely be the responsibility of local government.

One thought to ponder will be the permanence of a solar system wide transportation system, and culture surrounding it.

In that regard, development of modular, shippable land development containers will be a smart path of research in my opinion. All the various destinations possible would require specific modules to optimally support human life.

Will start by researching specific modules for my local climate zone 6 with forested woodlands, and isolate what can be universally adapted in other zones, or even in artificial environments.

Pretty sure I'll setup project management software to track results and long term output. Going to have to limit my focus on what I have resources to manage personally, document and share a framework others can apply in order to have a complete module list for every climate zone and eventually the extraterrestrial options as well.

Will work on it.

2 years ago
After looking at options, as far as growing things, I think the ice moon Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, would be a good target to develop for.

It has the largest water ocean in the solar system, more than Earth.

So, I guess Earth bags would be out as a building option. Perhaps, igloo type building with ice blocks. Radiation issues with Jupiter, and even with a magnetosphere, two months on the surface of Ganymede would be a lethal dose of radiation exposure. Would have to tunnel into the ice for protection, and/or find a way to shield surface structure interiors.

Heard one estimate that the ice crust is 500 miles thick before reaching liquid, then rock, then molten mantel and core.

I'm sure that once they get through the ice, actual nuclear submarine living would be possible. Which smells like Russians.

I guess possible test sites for ultra light Permies in a box for living in an ice bubble will be artic islands near both poles.


An entirely artificial bubble of life within and on ice.

One reason for targeting a water ice moon would be strategic control of water supply, and food production. Who likes sea food?
2 years ago
Read that it currently costs around $640 per pound of cargo to launch into near Earth orbit, and they expect that soon they'll be able to reduce cost to $20 per pound.

Will focus on packing high value items in regards to long-term human life support, and things that are critical for utilizing local raw material. Think aircraft cargo containers would be a good target to fill and deliver to test sites.
2 years ago
Made a summary clipping of points to indicate research direction on this topic.

The first point would be to develop a shippable permaculture infrastructure supporting 100% home ownership of those of legal age and older.

The second will be to virtualize core components from the shippable permaculture infrastructure for testing in various environments which tend to be hostile or simply lacking the resources to be supportive of life.

James Cockerham wrote:
Wikipedia which is a pretty darned good vacuum.

So, here on Earth as for easy to ship building materials that integrate well with local resources. Military bunkers and Earth Bag housing would be a good model to follow.

Will need to investigate shipping container sizes, relative to current rocket payload capacity, and see what can fit. I imagine one, to several shipping containers worth of items and material.

Some designs could later be adapted for various space environments, with a shippable solution.

Will be a lot of work testing the various configurations of container contents and end goals once unpacked within a specified window of time.

Think I'll start working on a bill of materials to ship within one and two 40 foot containers. Which are around 10,000 lbs each empty. 20, and 10 foot containers are also readily available.

May setup a public git list for documentation and bill of materials.

Issue is moving containers around on-site, requiring specialized equipment, and hard flat surfaces to operate on. Depends on terrain, flatter areas it my be cost effective, but hilly or mountainous areas without quality roads, it my be better to have things shipped to a convenient area, unload, and relocate materials to desired area, before returning a container to a shipping company for reuse as it's original intended purpose.


What would the point be of it all?

Long-term, creation of a solar system wide civilization to survive indefinitely. I imagine each colony would produce it's own evolutionary line of humans, and given long enough, they would be noticably different than their ancestors. I think one such lineage to evolve would be humans who live entirely in space for their lifetimes. Those will be the ones to leave our solar system, as at current propulsion speed it takes tens of thousands of years to make it to the nearest stars.

https://permies.com/f/141/ tiny house
Residual income
2 years ago