Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is another place we explored while on our Spring Break Trip to Tucson! It was just like going to another world.

Click photos to see more detail.

Biosphere 2 Map

Why is it called Biosphere 2? Well, as we were roadtripping there from Tucson, someone in the car asked that, and I jokingly said, “Well, it’s probably called Biosphere 2 because we already live on Biosphere 1!” Everyone laughed, but you know what? I was right!

Biosphere 2 started out as an experiment to see if we could replicate Earth in another dimension. What would it take to be sustainable? After 2-years of being sealed inside, the scientists needed a boost of oxygen from the outside world. They’d discovered the hard way that the curing of the cement in the facility was using more oxygen than they could produce & sustain.

The scientists learned a lot from that experiment, and now, Biosphere 2 is a wonderful place to do other experiments on a grand scale. Scientists are using it all the time to test their theories on a scale that can only be imagined elsewhere.

Speaking of scale, the pictures do not do this place justice. It’s massive.

Walking down the outside path to Biosphere 2

Walking down the outside path to Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is home to the same types of regions here on Biosphere 1.

Ocean

Ocean

Rainforest

Rainforest

Temperate

Temperate

Desert

Desert

We even ventured underground!

We even ventured underground!

Biosphere 2 Desert Basement

Labels, Labels, Labels!

Labels, Labels, Labels!

When the scientists were stationed here, they had to provide for themselves with what they had. They could communicate with the outside world, but labeling everything made their jobs that much easier if something went wrong and they needed to do maintenance.

Biosphere 2 Lung

On our guided tour, we were able to go to the South Lung. Because Biosphere 2 is a closed system, there needs to be an efficient way to move the air that is constantly heating and cooling.

On our guided tour, we were able to go to the South Lung. Because Biosphere 2 is a closed system, there needs to be an efficient way to move the air that is contracting and expanding.

See the black portion around the outside edge of the top? That is a membrane that expands and contracts, not unlike lungs!

All kinds of experiments are being conducted here.

All kinds of experiments are being conducted here.

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we visited Biosphere 2, and I was impressed. It’s amazing to think that the things they’re learning in Biosphere 2 will help us here in Biosphere 1.

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