So bear with me while I work through these thoughtsOld Man's War. I have also been following Lloyd Kahn's blog. He's also the author of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.
So the two worlds (of ideas) have collided and I have been working out a design for shipping containers for use in space colonization. I admit, I'm a huge fan of Serenity and Firefly and StarGate SG1 and Farscape. So the idea of off world life appeals at a primal frontiersman level. Of course, I know I'll never see it for several reasons. Simply put: Financial impracticality, narrow minded creationists in political office, and most importantly-Evolution. I firmly believe that we won't succede in having colonization for first, second and third generation off world settlements because we evolved separate from the other planets ecosystems. I could go into a lengthy explanation at this point, but I'll leave you at a starting point: European explorers meet American natives and epidemics follow. Then go with this book, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, and that is merely a launching point for a space ship load of reasons.
But back to the point at hand. Shipping containers as frontier cabins for off world exploration.
Imagine a shipping container of your stuff. Now toss in a second container with the water, temperature regulation, and power source for a home on a new planet. Throw in waste disposal / reuse -afterall we want to incorporate our microbes into the alien environment. Include cooking facilites. Safe shelter to harbor against the elements or threats of harm. Some storage capacity. And voila! Just the beginnings.
With doors that open outward at each end, imagine rolling out a water purification system combined with waste water treatment. On top, solar panels and a wind collection unit for power supplies. At the other end, a roll out cooking source that houses power units to utilize the solar/wind gathered.
As these units roll out, the core of stored items become accessible with panels that swing open from the long sides. These stored items would include collapsible or inflatable furniture, mosquito netting, pots and pans etc.
The panels of a closed container could be multi layered. For example, the long side could have a panel which lifts up and becomes a roof for a length long porch/room. A second panel could then fold down from the opposite direction providing a floor. Built in adjustable braces, like the folding legs of a card table, could provide support. And this could run lengthwise on both sides.
The bottom could be modified to have a one foot support base that would include, among other things, a leveling system based on tire jack hydraulics and pipes and conduits for plumbing and wiring.
The roof could have an exterior layer which came off in panels with pop up solar panels and a wind channel. The panels could be used to provide doors and sides for the pop out porch rooms.
While this seems to be a rather self contained unit, I think a second unit would be needed to carry all the things a new world settler would need including rations, seed crop, and other necessities. Perhaps even a few sheep, cows, chickens and pigs could be transported because you'll need protein and eventually new clothes and shoes, etc.
All in all, a crazy thought best saved for science fiction and the hope that Firefly may rise from the ashes for a second series. Nate Fillion says he's all in.