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Biosphere 2, 3 and One

Posted by on Jul 31, 2011 in Ecology | 5 comments

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In Oracle, about an hour drive outside of Tuscon, the capitol of Arizona/USA, is a research facility called Biosphere 2 (1). The task is very ambitious as the name Biosphere 2 indicates.  It tries to emulate Biosphere 1, which is Earth.

The main objective was to acquire the knowledge and experience for building such closed circuit stations in outer space. The other objective was to better understand the interaction- and dependence of the different Ecosystems on earth.

It is not clear what the conclusion really are. Was the endeavour successful? Or were the conclusions only a first step towards a more comprehensive picture of nature? Are future space stations going to be self-sufficient because of the findings of Biosphere 2 (2)?

The facility is, allegedly, the biggest closed system ever built and was accordingly very expensive to built. And were subsequently sold for hundreds of million of Dollars.

What a waste.

All the millions spent for the wrong assumptions, as can be seen on the present space station. The present space station is no where near the point, where it would become self sustainable. It is also not clear what the plans are concerning space travel of man. After all the economic situation is not so very promising right now and a immediate cash return for the investment in space is nowhere to be seen in the near future.

The first wrong assumption of Biosphere 2 was, that what happens on earth in a closed space can be implemented in space in the scale 1:1. It can’t for the simple reason of gravity. Second mistake was, that it might be quiet expensive to build a facility on earth, but Biosphere 2 was not really a engineering challenge. To build a, from the size, comparable station in space would be very challenging. Alone the logistics to transport all the material into space would be prohibitively expensive. The third reason why Biosphere was nothing but the ego trip of some people, is the fact, that if something happens to the glass construction on earth, it would mean a broken window. And nothing else. In space a corrupted shell could mean danger to the survival of the inhabitants!

Anyway, space programs are not the top priority nowadays, with the debt trap and all the other problems the world is confronted with. One of them is the perils of a changing climate. How to survive in such a situation was not at all an objective of Biosphere 2. Although a changing climate is much more probable than the colonization of space. This fact seems to have eluded the people in charge of Biosphere 2. Otherwise a different way to provide energy for the facility would be utilized, such as solar and wind energy. Instead natural gas was used. The question remains, where does a space station get in outer space natural gas? The whole concept of Biosphere 2 seems to be concentrated on appearance and not on substance. The new owner of the facility, the University of Arizona, want to use it as a laboratory to study Climate Change, among other things.

Even at the time of construction, 1987- 1991, the ecological challenge should have been taken into account.  In the meanwhile the ecological situation is getting worse and a Biosphere 3 must be build in order to find out how to tackle the ecological challenge and to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Biosphere 3 should also be a modell how to protect Biosphere 1 and how to live in it in harmony!


For further reading:

1. Biosphere 2

2. Biosphere 2 official website

Image courtesy to NASA


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  1. Elisabeth

    Hello 🙂

    Why you stoped writting articles ? i really love reading your things. your thoughts are inspiring, i wish you can write more often, i live in belguim and i think you are green warrior for this planet.

    I am sure is what you do for living is taking you away from this site, i feel you write with passion, but at the same time i know the site is give you no bread or this is only a hobby, i work 6 hours every day in sale shop, too much work ! good luck

    please keep write, just wanted you to know that someone is care here for your words.

    • Admin (Max)

      Dear Elisabeth,
      you are right, I do not write as ,many articles as I used to, because I have to work so much. I promise you, and all my other readers, that this will change in the near future. Anyway, I want to thank you for your kind support. Have a little patience.
      All the best,

  2. hemp

    .Biosphere 2…Biosphere 2 is a 3.14-acre 12 700m2 structure originally built to be an in by Space Biosphere Ventures a joint venture whose principal officers were 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 and an agricultural area and human living working space to study the interactions between humans farming and technology with the rest of nature. Two months later Matt Smith replaced Matt Finn..The ownership and management company Space Biospheres Ventures was officially dissolved on June1 1994 leaving scientific and business management of the mission to the financial partner Decisions Investment..Mission 2 was ended prematurely on September 6 1994..

  3. Washing Machine Repair London

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