Many of us may recall captivating images of an enormous glass and steel superstructure making the headlines in the 90’s, along with the tale of eight human test subjects who would enter, live, and remain in this special environment completely sealed off from the outside world. At the time with phrases like ‘test facility for possible future lunar and planetary habitation’ associated with it, the Biosphere project re-inspired imaginations the world over and sustained the hopes of those ambitious for mankind to further explore and someday inhabit new destinations in space.
Planet Earth’s largest closed ecological system in Arizona, the Biosphere 2 complex. (Image credit: Johndedios via Wikimedia Commons)
So what about the Biosphere today? Does it still exist, and if so how has the project fared with the passing of time? Also what were the results of the human experiments and what do they indicate for the feasibility of future lunar/planetary habitation? These are some of the questions we will seek answers to as we re-examine the Biosphere, 20 years on.
With Biosphere-like space structures featuring in sci-fi films such as Sunshine and even as far back as 1979’s The Black Hole, the essential concept of Earth’s ...