Biosphere II - Its Effects on Space Colonization

by Chris Cassidy, Eldorado High Sch, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


In the middle of the Arizona desert, a strange sight can be seen. A small world with ecosystems and different climate zones, just like Earth, is enclosed in glass and steel. The 3.15 acre mini-world called Biosphere 2 is the first of its kind. Designed to be completely airtight and self sufficient, Biosphere 2 held four men and four women for two years (1991-1993). The men and women, called Biospherians, grew their own food and recycled all of their wastes. Along with the humans, Biosphere 2 contained 3,800 species of plants and animals. Biosphere 2 answered many questions about ecology and the life cycles of Earth. Most importantly, Biosphere 2 helped the human race toward the goal of space colonization.

Subject Headings: Ecosystems | Space life support systems | Space colonies | Human and behavioral factors | Waste management | Steel | Recycling | Arizona | United States

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