On Sept 26, 1991,
4 men & 4 women were locked inside a sealed world.
Inside that world was an entire biosphere... a separate planet so to speak.
With 4,000 species of plant life it was a kind of Botanical Noahs Ark...
The design of the structure - which covers over 3 acres - was
to prevent as much as an atom to transfer in from outside.
The inhabitants would live work and play inside in a totally self sufficient
world that grew, &/or recycled all its food, air, & water.
It was a grand experiment in not only the study of our planet and it's systems,
but also a study of what it might be like to create self sufficient
colonies in space.
I wont go into the specifics and how it all turned out...
You can google that if you are interested, but what follows is a tour
of this amazing facility that is now a massive research station owned
by the University of Arizona.
Inside the Biosphere is a
Taken from the "Savannah Grasslands" Bio Zone
looking down upon the Ocean with Coral Reef.
Below is the fog desert.
The white platform in the middle is an experiment about how
plants will grow in solid rock, and form dirt that is
currently under way.
Because the entire complex was sealed, and changes in temperature
and outside atmospheric pressure would cause the building to expand/ contract
and rupture, a way was needed to handle the changes in in pressures.
The Biosphere was designed with 2 huge "lungs" These massive rooms have a
16 ton aluminum disc (seen on left with legs dangling) suspended
on a doughnut of rubber. As the air expands in the biosphere - it lifts the
aluminum disc. As it contracts - the disc lowers to the floor.
Below is the "Human Habitat" section of the Biosphere2
The upper knob is a library/observatory.
Below that are crews rooms, and dining facilities.
This is one of 10 crew apartments.
The first floor is a living room, up the spiral
staircase is the bedroom.
The Kitchen. the door in the rear leads to
the food preparation/storage area.
(remember all the food was grown here)
Looking out from the kitchen is the dining area,
and beyond that the rain forest.
From the outside on the left is the building housing
the bio zones (Rain forest, Savannah, Desert, etc)
In the center the Human Habitat,
The round building on the right is one of
the two Lungs.
And of course... the Honeymooners.
Did I mention that it snowed last night on the mountains
and rained on us?
Happy New Year Everyone!