6/19/2012 – Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2!

I’ll spare you the story of Biosphere 2, you can read about it yourself.  But, anyone can go take a tour of the facilities, and it is pretty neat-o.

It is just plopped out there, north of Tucson, in the middle of the desert.

From the inside, you always see this mesh of triangular windows.


Contained inside, we got to see all the biomes that they cultivated: (clockwise from the top left) mangrove, ocean, desert, rainforest, and others.

In the early 1990’s they locked a few scientist inside for 2 years. This is one of the sample loft rooms.  They don’t lock the facility up anymore.

One of the most incredible engineering marvels of the whole facility are the lungs.  Nearly impossible to describe.  That big metal plate is hanging from the black rubber ceiling.  As the pressure rises or falls in the biosphere, it will expand or contract the black rubber and that plate will go from the ceiling to the floor.  Our tour guide opened the sealed hatch on the side and gave us a little sample!  You can watch it slowly descend as the pressure in the room equalizes!  So cool!

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