September 25, 1993 |
If God had been a Texas billionaire, the Garden of Eden might have looked like Biosphere II--a wilderness under glass with a tiny ocean, where the chosen few can stroll to a desert, a tropical forest or a video conference center without leaving the house. In lieu of original sin, there are tourists. Nestled among the prickly pear and flowering barrel cactus in the high desert outside Tucson, Biosphere II encompasses 3.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 1993 |
Each morning inside the glass-enclosed, air-sealed Biosphere 2 project north of Tucson, Ariz., Mark Van Thillo wakes at 6:30, checks the system's machines, eats some organic breakfast foods and works on the farm. On Thursday, he took the time to talk by video teleconference to Capistrano Unified School District students about life inside Biosphere 2. The project is an experiment of ecological self-sufficiency that includes its own rain forest, desert and ocean.
July 7, 1992 |
Barbara Smith phoned Roy Walford the other day. Nothing special. Except that Smith was calling from Katmandu and Walford was inside Biosphere 2 in the Arizona desert. And the call was processed through the Electronic Cafe in Santa Monica.
December 20, 1991 |
Outside air has been pumped into Biosphere II to compensate for leakage, operators acknowledged Thursday, but they denied that it violates their goal of creating a sealed, self-sustaining world. About 600,000 cubic feet of air was pumped in Dec. 9, amounting to about 10% of the air in the glass-enclosed world, said Bill Dempster of Space Biospheres Ventures. Eight people went into the project Sept. 26 and plan to remain sealed inside for two years.
November 10, 1991 |
Move over Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The hottest new tourist attraction in Tucson is Biosphere II, the giant ecological research facility in which four men and four women are attempting to live self-sufficiently, sealed from physical contact with the outside world, until Sept. 26, 1993. An estimated 170,000 amateur scientists and voyeurs have already flocked this year to the facility that looks something like a giant terrarium sitting in the foothills outside Tucson.
October 12, 1991 |
A crew member of the Biosphere II environmental laboratory who severed her fingertip returned to the sealed prototype space colony Friday after surgery. Jayne Poynter, the lab's farm manager, was taken to University Medical Center, where her finger was surgically closed after a graft to keep the top half inch of the finger failed. "I feel fine. I'm looking forward to going back into the Biosphere," Poynter said after the surgery. Dr. J.
October 11, 1991 |
One of the eight environmentalists sealed inside a gigantic greenhouse in Arizona accidentally cut off the tip of her left middle finger Wednesday morning and may have to be removed from the closed system briefly for further surgery, a spokeswoman for the project said Thursday. Jane Poynter, 29, was operating a rice-hulling machine in the agricultural area of Biosphere 2 when she accidentally stuck her finger in too far, Kathleen Dyhr said.
September 27, 1991 |
Eight scientists Thursday were locked into a sealed environment where they plan to stay until 1993, saying they dream of a future when humans will become "custodians of our world." The biospherians, as they like to call themselves, donned colorful astronaut-style costumes Wednesday as they celebrated their last day of freedom. On Thursday, wearing futuristic black uniforms, they smiled and waved to onlookers and were sealed inside a 3.15-acre geodesic-framed compound called Biosphere II.
September 23, 1991 |
At sunrise on Thursday, four men and four women will don red jumpsuits, share a hug with their friends in Mission Control and leave the world behind. If all goes well, they will leave the Earth behind for two years. The eight are not climbing aboard a space shuttle, although their language and nomenclature are deliberately evocative of the heyday of NASA. But they are embarking on an adventure that is in some ways bolder than the first manned space flight.
September 23, 1991
With a few exceptions, the crew of Biosphere II has been together for more than 10 years working on various ecological projects around the world. Many read science fiction extensively, and several play musical instruments. The biospherian co-captains are Sally Silverstone of Walthamstow, England, and Mark van Thillo of Antwerp, Belgium. Silverstone, 36, has a bachelor's degree in applied social studies from Sheffield Polytechnic College.