John Z and Colleen cleaning the airlock pressure plate at SAM, Biosphere 2 Kai painting the airlock pressure plate at SAM, Biosphere 2

Kai cutting the airlock entry at SAM, Biosphere 2 Amin grinding the heads off rivots at SAM, Biosphere 2

The University of Arizona Facilities Metal Shop completed the custom pressure plate based upon our design. Now we learn if our careful measurement, sketches, and computer layout were accurate. If designed correctly, this steel insert will distribute the load of the airlock attachment across the otherwise relatively fragile foam-filled sheet aluminum and corrugated steel walls of the insulated shipping container. With 19 five inch bolts across the top, left and right of the frame, we anticipate a rigid interface to hold the interior pressure door of the crew quarters airlock and primary entrance to SAM.

Colleen and John Z. cleaned the residual oil from the surface. Kai follows with a coat of a rust inhibiting primer. Amin and Kai conduct the final cuts and grinding to prepare for removal of the insulated wall unit and installation fo the airlock. Will it all come together? Will everything line up just right?

This particular story began with Pen & Pad, continued in Concrete, and concludes with Airlock Install.