Saturday, July 23, 2011

Biosphere 2


Biosphere 2 is a 3.14-acre structure originally built to be an artificial, materially-closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona (USA) by Space Biosphere Ventures, a joint venture whose principal officers were John P. Allen, inventor and Executive Director, and Margret Augustine, CEO. Constructed between 1987 and 1991, it was used to explore the complex web of interactions within life systems in a structure that included five areas based on natural biomes and an agricultural area and human living/working space to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology with the rest of nature. It also explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. The name comes from Earth's biosphere, Biosphere 1. Earth's life system is the only biosphere currently known. Funding for the project came primarily from the joint venture's financial partner, Ed Bass' Decisions Investment, and cost $200 million from 1985 to 2007, including land, support research greenhouses, test module and staff facilities. (From Wikipedia)

Biosphere 2 is the size of two and a half football fields. The structure is the biggest enclosed working system ever produced and sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. Inside the well preserved edifice, scientists were able to test the changes of the air, water and soil enclosed inside. Also within the sealed walls was a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, a fog desert, an agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground level technical enclosure. The sealed structure generated heating, cooling, and electricity through solar panels.

From 1991 to 1993, Mission 1 experiment with eight people was conducted where they were locked inside for two years. The second mission with a group of seven people only lasted six months because of disagreements over the cost of the project. The mission ended up being shut down early.

Sharon and I decided to take a drive up to see Biosphere 2 while waiting for our friend to get home. Even though they do provide tours, we just circled the parking lot and then left. We could see the massive structure from the road. Perhaps next time we will take the tour.




This little fella was feasting on a flatten rattlesnake in the middle of the road.

7 comments:

  1. An interesting trip. A strange project...Granny always said, no roof is big enough to cover two families.

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  2. I do want to take a tour in the winter. Much of the tour takes you on a hike around the desert grounds and that's not so fun in the summertime. I'm all about leaving a world some day that is using sustainable energy and is green-minded and healthy eating and zero population growth. I refuse to die until we no longer use fossil fuels, so apparently I might live forever.

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  3. Gail, don't you just love our elder's sayings. They have some good ones. I wonder if they are going to do more experiments? It is definitely a strange place and I can't wait to see the inside.

    Sis, yes we will tour the place in the winter for sure. Just hiking to the facility in this heat will wipe me out. Also you can wait for fossil fuels or just get a pasty face vamp to give you a really big hicky... tee hee!

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  4. By the way Doyle, I've been thinking about that yoghurt thing. Fruit at the bottom, waiting to be stirred.

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  5. julie,
    i am so soo behind, i wanted to let you know i finally got you up as the winner of the eBook design... i put up the few we didn't choose.

    http://ebookdesigns.blogspot.com/

    thank you for being patient.
    jeremy

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  6. Dr. Heckle, Bud and Doyle could have been there but we didn't go inside. I hope they are behaving!

    Barry, ha ha... do you know the entire movie? Hum, I was wondering about the fruit on the bottom of yogurt too...

    Jeremy, I will check it out. Thanks again for the cool book cover. I will let you know what the publisher says about it. Also, I haven't forgotten the 21 questions, it is just that I get distracted by other things. I will get it to you.

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