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"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

Self-Sustaining Space Craft  
  A spacecraft ecosystem.  

This is an early use of the spacecraft ecosystem as life support idea.

"There are five thousand people here," said Captain Smith. "The Prince has always kept the best specimens among his captives, and others have been recruited besides. We are self-sustaining as the earth is. We use the power of the sun—through our vitalium batteries. We grow our own food. We utilize our waste products - matter here goes through a regular cycle of life and death as on the earth. Men eat food containing carbon, breathe in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide; our plants break up the carbon dioxide, make more foods containing the same carbon, and give off the oxygen for men to breathe again. Our nitrogen, or oxygen and hydrogen, go through similar cycles. The power of the sun is all we need from outside."
From The Prince of Space, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

See also the entry for Martian sawgrass from QRM - Interplanetary

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Prince of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Prince of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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