Science Art: Biosphere_2_-_panoramio_(4) by Qygen, 19 Aug 2003.

Scientific Illustration of Biosphere 2 - a photograph of the facility as it was in 2003, 20 years after the experiment.

Scientific Illustration of Biosphere 2 - a photograph of the facility as it was in 2003, 20 years after the experiment.Click to embiggen

Sure, I listen to an episode of Omnibus! here and there, and the latest was on the oddly half-forgotten project that was Biosphere 2.

I mainly remember Biosphere 2 as the place where Roy Walford carried out his extreme-low-calorie lifespan-extending diet experiments on human subjects once the system started to break down. That didn’t really come up on the podcast, but they did mention lots of other science that came out of the self-contained ecosystem, ranging from coral reef protection to agricultural production and space exploration.

I suppose what’s most interesting about it now is that it’s still operating as a University of Arizona research facility – a place to study ecological systems located in what happens to be the Arizona desert.

It just looks like a very 1980s version of the future.

You can find other shots of the facility in this Archive.org version of Qygen’s Panoramio page.