Biosphere Guests Bid Bye-Bye To Earth

Can planet Earth be packaged into small, self-contained habitats? Space Biospheres Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Oracle, Ariz., is betting $30 million that it can be done—and that there is someone who wants to do it. Toward this goal, the firm last month sponsored marine biologist Abigail K. Ailing’s five-day stay in a glass module that was 20 feet high and 23 feet long on each side. Cut off from outside sources of air, water, and food, Ailing harvested her own food from within this elaborate greenhouse and depended upon its plants and microorganisms to recycle air, water, and organic wastes. This test module is a prototype for Biosphere II, a steel and glass structure that will enclose 2.5 acres. if all goes as planned, eight people will enter Biosphere II in September 1990 and share the space for two years with...

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