Climbing Training at SAM, Biopshere 2 with Jason Deleeuw, photo by John Adams

As the 1987 Test Module was the prototype for the Biosphere, it was built using what proved to be an incredibly strong space frame designed by William Dempster and Taber MacCallum, based upon Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. This structure is more than three decades old, yet the paint retains is sheen, the interior bolts are without rust. The structure was holding a steel platform and heat exchanger with an estimated greater than 2000 lbs weight. Trent Tresch and Kai Staats were trained by Biosphere 2 Research Specialist Jason Deleeuw in the use of full-body climbing harnesses and self-rescue equipment in order to safely conduct repair and construction of what will be the SAM controlled environment (greenhouse).

The day concluded with the removal of four steel struts, two of which held gas canisters and two other that held an airtight electrical box. Kai Staats used a metal grinder, 60 and 120 grit sanding discs, and primer to repair and smooth the surface of the steel beams in preparation for a new coat of paint.

Metal repair at SAM - before, by Kai Staats Metal repair at SAM - after, by Kai Staats

Metal repair at SAM, by Kai Staats Gas transfer block reconfiguration at SAM, by Kai Staats