Biosphere 2

"To the eight volunteers stuck inside the glassy Biosphere 2 ark in the desert of Arizona, the Electronic Cafe, in Santa Monica, California, is a sanity saver. Nothing is supposed to enter or leave the Biosphere 2 for two years, except information and energy. To "get out of hut," the biospherians travel by wire to Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz's Electronic Cafe. As customers sip espresso, the biospherians stroll in via picture phone.

On an electronic visit last October, two biospherians playing percussion instruments jammed with Cafe regulars. "I miss the cafe scene," said Linda Leigh, one of the biospherians. "When we hear there's an Electronic Cafe event coming up, it's like a chance to go out for a night." Besides meeting new faces, the biospherians can participate in regular Electronic Cafe events such as telepoetics, a monthly interactive poetry reading. Every New Year's Eve for the past four years, the Electronic Cafe "e-links" to parties around the world as the year's end advances around the globe. Roy Walford, another biospherian, has been e-linking (via the cafe) into the travels of his friend, performance artist Barbara T. Smith, as she wanders the world and beams back live video letters from places like Katmandu, Nepal."

Source: Wired Magazine, Issue 1.01 | Mar/Apr 1993 link)


Mission 1: The first closed mission lasted from September 26, 1991 to September 26, 1993.
Mission 2: The second closed mission began on 6 March 1994, with an announced run of ten months. On 1 April a severe dispute within the management team led to the ousting of the on-site management by armed federal marshals serving a restraining order, leaving management of the mission to Ed Bass' company Decisions Investment. At 3 am on 5 April Abigail Alling and Mark Van Thillo, members of the first crew, deliberately vandalised the project, opening all the doors and violating the closure. The ownership and management company Space Biospheres Ventures was officially dissolved on June 1. The mission was ended prematurely on 6 September 1994.
In 1995 the Biosphere 2 owners transferred management to Columbia University. Columbia ran Biosphere 2 as a research site until 2003, at which time management reverted to the owners. During Columbia's tenure, Columbia students would often spend one semester at the site.
On January 10, 2005 Decisions Investments Corporation, owners of Biosphere 2, announced that the Biosphere 2 campus was for sale.
By 2006, the structure was no longer maintained in an airtight state, and the property, which is in exurban Tucson, was slated to be redeveloped for a planned community.
On June 26, 2007, the University of Arizona announced that it would take over management of Biosphere 2, using the site as a laboratory to study climate change, among other things.
Source: link)

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