Last week was my birthday, but with Chloe's prom and many other things going on, we decided to celebrate this weekend. So I grabbed the groupon I purchased for a trip to Biosphere 2 and we all headed down there on Saturday!
Here's Mike milling around the visitor's center... If Biosphere 2 is in Oracle, Arizona where is Biosphere 1 you ask? Well you're in it, it's planet earth.
On our walk to find our tour group.
Still looking for the door.
Looking into the rainforest section. Biosphere 2 has a variety of habitats, the rainforest, the savannah, the desert etc.
Still looking for that door.
Hey we found the hatch to go in! And our tour group was right inside.
So now we headed to the rain forest.
On the way we past the ocean.
Looking at the ocean.
In 1991 a crew of scientists were sealed inside the Biosphere for 2 years to see if all their needs could be met, including oxygen, which turned out to be the problem. Anyway they obviously needed some frankincense, because who doesn't?
Entering the rainforest.
Boats in the ocean.
Inside the rainforest (it was a bit crowded).
Staircase down to the ocean.
Out thru the window.
Walking through the savannah habitat.
Here we are entering the desert region, which unlike the desert outside was surprisingly windy and comfortable.
The octopus cactus.
Listening to the guide about the incubators in the experiment on the balcony.
This was when things got really interesting. They took us below to see the underworkings of the site. Here we are walking through the desert basement.
Next we headed to the south lung... This journey included traversing many, many tunnels.
Inside the tunnels.
Mike taking selfies in the tunnel.
The tunnel gets smaller.
Mike in the smaller tunnel.
Finally at the lung!
This room was massive and VERY echoy. The lung was the massive disk attached to rubber that moved up and down with the air pressure. It was actually pretty amazing.
Finally time to exit.
Through this hatch was a blast of air to get through to the outside.
From here we walked out on the grounds.
Phoebe waiting for the tour guide.
Mike and I.
An Arabian water marker. (It has a better name, but I forget what the tour guide called it.)
We also had a chance to see the lunar greenhouse.
This is a prototype of what will be sent to the moon once a long term facility is established.
Naomi walking outside.
This is the kitchen for the Biosphere crew.
Chloe standing in the kitchen.
Staircase to crew quarters. They really had a great place to stay. They said that every six days each crew member had to make dinner, breakfast and lunch for everyone. Bad cooks had to learn fast because they had limited ingredients that they grew and no way to "save" lost food with seasonings.
It was a pretty amazing place and it makes me want to see that crazy movie with Paulie Shore from years ago.