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Crew Inclusion II completes second mission at SAM!

Crew Inclusion II upon exit of their six days mission at SAM, Biosphere 2.

Above (back row): Dr. Brandy Nunez, Mission Director; SAM Staff: Luna Powell, Matthias Beach, Trent Tresch, Kai Staats, and Sean Gellenbeck (not present Tasha Coelho); (front row) Bindhu Oommen, Commander; Keridwen Cornelius, Crew Journalist; Andy Squires, Communications Officer, Accessibility; and Sahda Haroon, Engineer. (not present: Brenda Trinidad, Mission Control and Eric Shear, Mission Support).

Crew Inclusion II completed it’s six days mission at a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) at Biosphere 2. Commander Bindhu Oommen, Engineer Sahda Haroon, Communications & Accessibility Officer Andy Squires, and Crew Journalist Keridwen Cornelius initiated depressurization of the habitat at 10 AM PDT, and a few minutes later were received by original Biospherian Linda Leigh who opened the hatch and greeted them on the airlock landing.

The crew accomplished nearly all of their mission objectives, including monitoring the CO2 and pressure during two Mode 3 experiments; a point-sampling of CO2 levels throughout the habitat in comparison to stationary sensor arrays; a sampling of the four stages of water use (potable, condensate, gray, and waste); a step by step review of the newly completed Standard Operating Procedures manual for SAM by crew commander Bindhu Oommen; a digital analysis of the acoustic spaces present in SAM’s unique structure; assembly and use of a 3D printer for a variety of tasks, including a 3D map of SAM, a tactile representation of collected data, and a surgical scaple; and four EVAs as noted by Tucson Channel 4 KVOA reporter Megan Spector who was on-site from 4:30 am.

Journalist Keridwen Cornelius lead the culinary exploration with incredible outcomes, starting with the bread recipes recorded by the first team a week prior, then moving to develop a blueberry compote, a variety of vegetable soups, and an apple crumble. The crew completed their mission with twelve gallons of water to spare from the original 60.

They consumed fresh lettuce from the hydroponics each day and in the final 24 hours were able to harvest pink oyster mushrooms from mycelia grown on a straw substrate peppered with the dehydrated, ground, inedible biomass (food scraps) from the first crew. This demonstrates complete recycling of food waste in this hermetically sealed, pressurized habitat analog.

Data and mission objective reports coming soon!

By |2023-05-22T19:34:54+00:00May 15th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research & Development|0 Comments

Tucson KVOA News Channel 4 at SAM

In preparation for the completion of the second mission at a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) by Crew Inclusion II, KVOA reporter Megan Spector arrived at 4:30 am to capture the anticipation of the hours leading up to this event. She reported live from within one of the two pressure suits built by Smith Aerospace Garments while standing in the prototype SAM Mars yard.

By |2023-05-16T15:01:08+00:00May 15th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Second crew enters SAM!

SAM crew Inclusion II: Keridwen Cornelius, Andy Squires, Bindhu Oommen, and Sahda Haroon

The second crew to enter the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars sealed the outer airlock hatch today, May 10, at 10:05 AM. Interviews with the French Televisions commenced at 8:30 AM and continued until 9:45 AM when one by one, Bindhu Oommen, Keridwen Cornelius, Sahda Haroon, and Andy Squires entered SAM carrying their personal bins. They left their street shoes on the airlock landing and donned hab shoes provided by Astral Designs.

Bindhu Oommen, Crew Commander and Medical Officer, MD MPH FACS is a board-certified, practicing general surgeon from Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. Keridwen Cornelius, Crew Journalist, is a freelance journalist and editor whose work has been published in Scientific American, Science, The New York Times, Sapiens, Medscape, Outside, and more. Sahda Haroon, Crew Engineer, is a freshman at Purdue University going into Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Andy Squires, Crew Communications and Accessibility Officer, is a Senior Applications Administrator at American University and live in Arlington, Virginia.

Learn more about Inclusion II …

The Mission Objectives for Inclusion II are as follows:

  1. Validate and implement a working draft of Standard Operating Procedures Manual for SAM.
  2. Document the feasibility and experiences of the early analog missions at SAM.
  3. Create acoustic and tactile maps of SAM.
  4. Initiate and establish a water quality monitoring protocol at SAM.
  5. Install and evaluate the utility of a 3-D printer at SAM.
  6. Study stress mitigation in closed environments within a pressurized and sealed environment at SAM.
  7. Evaluate CO2 distribution within SAM during simulation.
  8. Contribute to the feasibility of analog missions for visually-impaired crew members at SAM
  9. Study air quality at SAM
  10. Train non-medical persons on use of portable ultrasound for evaluation and diagnosis of medical problems.

As with the first crew, Inclusion II will be operating SAM in Mode 2 (pressurized, flow-through) for the majority of their mission, but with intervals of Mode 3 (pressurized, sealed) in order to monitor discrete rise and fall of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the overall leak rate of SAM, in this configuration. The crew will enjoy an all vegetarian diet of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, with an exciting (from a vegetarian point of view) variety of grains and legumes, pasta, and spices, and opportunity to make home made bread.

Crew Inclusion II was sent off by Biosphere 2’s Executive Director Dr. Joaquin Ruiz and original Biospherians Linda Leigh (Mission I, 1991-93) and Bernd Zabel (Mission II, 1994). Linda lived sealed inside the Test Module prototype for 21 days as part of a series of experiments to demonstrate a closed-loop bioregenerative life support system prior to building the Biosphere 2 proper. Bernd was construction manager for Biosphere 2, and continued his work at Biosphere 2 as Columbia University transitioned the facility into a climate change research center in the mid to late ’90s.

By |2023-05-11T05:25:15+00:00May 10th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

ABC 12 Phoenix reports on crew Inclusion I

Crew Inclusion I in the airlock of SAM, just moments after sealing themselves inside, May 27, 2023

by Kaley O’Kelley
Posted at 4:56 AM, May 10, 2023

It was the first quest of its kind, with a mission to learn more about living and working on the moon or Mars.

On April 27, a four-person crew was sealed inside the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) for six days in Oracle, Arizona, for the Inclusion 1 mission.

The goal of the mission was to simulate the physical reality of being far from Earth. The crew went into the mission with no access to the outside world, aside from [access] to email.

SAM is a highly specialized, air-tight facility just steps away from the iconic dome at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2. It was created to study what it might be like to live and work on the surface of the Moon or Mars.

Read the full article and watch the broadcast at ABC 15, Phoenix, Arizona.

By |2023-05-23T20:19:13+00:00May 10th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Crew Inclusion I completes first mission at SAM!

Arizona television station KGUN covers the first team entering SAM at Biosphere 2

Crew Inclusion I has concluded the first mission at SAM. At 10:00 AM Mountain Time, May 2, 2023, the crew released the pressure from the habitat via three ports, and once the internal pressure was equal to the outside, ambient pressure, Lindah Leigh of the original 1991-93 two year Biosphere 2 mission opened the hatch and greeting the crew on the airlock landing.

New channels KVOA, KGUN, and KOLD were on-site to capture the story during an hour pressure conference held in the Mars yard adjacent to SAM.

KGUN – Channel 9
Space simulation wraps up at Biosphere 2

KVOA – Channel 4
Six-day Inclusion I Mission concludes on Biosphere 2 grounds

Mission accomplished on Biosphere 2 grounds

Six-day Inclusion I Mission concludes on Biosphere 2 grounds

KOLD – Chanel 13
Six day space study mission concludes in pressurized habitat at Biosphere 2

By |2023-05-23T20:23:57+00:00May 2nd, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

First crew enters SAM!

Arizona television station KGUN covers the first team entering SAM at Biosphere 2

Today the very first visiting research crew entered SAM. Inclusion I was welcomed by three television crews, two radio crews, Linda Leigh of the original Biosphere 2 mission, Executive Director of Biosphere 2 Joaquin Ruiz, Deputy Director of B2 John Adams, and more than 60 persons watching the first closure of this unique hermetically sealed, pressurized habitat. Interviews commenced at 5:00 AM and continued until 10:00 AM when one by one, Cassandra Klox, Eiman Jahangir, Bailey Burns, and Sheri Wells-Jensen entered SAM carrying their personal bins. They left their street shoes on the airlock landing and donned hab shoes provided by Astral Designs.

This event follows yesterday’s arduous 13+ hrs training in which the crew was given a hands-on course in the management of SAM pressure regulation, three-stage water recycling, networked fire detection and alert system, air quality monitoring, inedible food stabilization, A/C and dehumidifiers, hydroponics, and more.

Cassandra Klos, Commander and Crew Photographer, is a fine art photographer, curator, and analog astronaut. Eiman Jahangir, Medical officer, MD MPH is a Cardiologist, scuba diver, space enthusiast, and two-time NASA Astronaut Candidate finalist (2009 and 2013). Bailey Burns, Engineer, is an Aerospace Systems Engineer with Blue Origin, focusing on Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS), lunar dust mitigation, and lunar operations. Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Communications officer, Accessibility officer, is a linguist who teaches in the Linguistics/TESOL program at Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

Learn more about Inclusion I …

The Mission Objectives for Inclusion II are as follows:

  1. Understand whether the application of adaptive techniques can mitigate physiologic impact from isolation and mission induced stress during a terrestrial space analog mission.
  2. A study by Bailey Burns for Blue Origin (under NDA).
  3. Monitor carbon dioxide levels in SAM.
  4. SpaceKind Training in an Analog Environment.
  5. Construct a New Science Fiction through Documentation of Space Simulations, Mockups, and Ephemera
  6. Human Factors Study with University of Central Florida
  7. Accessibility Tasks and Experiments

Inclusion I will be operating SAM in Mode 2 (pressurized, flow-through) for the entirety of their mission. The crew will enjoy an all vegetarian diet of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, with an exciting (from a vegetarian point of view) variety of grains and legumes, pasta, and spices, and opportunity to make home made bread.

Inclusion I is an assembly of motivated individuals who share a common passion for science. We are honored to receive this first team at SAM, with anticipation for their first EVA in a pressurized space suit in our prototype Mars yard, and egress two days before the start of the Analog Astronaut Conference.

By |2023-05-11T05:23:37+00:00April 27th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Analog Astronaut Conference at Biosphere 2 and SAM

Analog Astronaut Conference at Biosphere 2

We are proud to announce that the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 and SAM will host the third annual Analog Astronaut Conference, May 4-7, 2023. The theme is “How analog research can be applied to the UNSDG”. If this year’s event is anything like the one prior, it will prove to be yet another extraordinary assembly of extraordinary people with skills, experience, and stories from around the world shared in a common, stunning space.

Visit the Analog Astronaut Conference website and see you soon!

By |2023-04-12T07:08:39+00:00February 12th, 2023|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Uplift Aerospace, AstroAccess at CHaSE

Uplift Aerospace, Astro Access complete first class at the Center for Human Space Exploration (CHaSE) at Biosphere 2

Uplift Aerospace’s Space+5 team has completed the inaugural spaceflight training program at the Center for Human Space Exploration (CHaSE), University of Arizona Biosphere 2 alongside three ambassadors from AstroAccess, and the humanoid robot Bina48 from Terasem Movement Foundation. The mission for this historic training program is to increase access, diversity, and inclusion in human space exploration.

The Space+5 is a five person spaceflight training class within Uplift Aerospace’s new community-led space program that embraces blockchain technology as a means to advance access to space with activations and research focused on key mission pillars: Art, Science, and Philanthropy. The Space+5 class is composed of Ruben Salinas who has been contracted by Uplift Aerospace for an upcoming suborbital space flight, Sydney Hamilton, Mike Mongo, Trent Tresch, and Joan Melendez-Misner.

The November 17-20 curriculum and training at Biosphere 2 and the University of Arizona recreation center was in collaboration with AstroAccess to develop ongoing programs and resources for future astronauts with disabilities. The training program was taught by Space+5 astronaut candidate and CHaSE founding Director Trent Tresch, Space+5 astronaut ambassador and mentor, Dr. Sian Proctor, executive director of the University of Arizona’s APEX aerospace medicine fellowship Dr. Mira Milas, with assistance and support by CHaSE co-founder Kai Staats, UA PhD student Atila Meszaros, and Paragon SDC aerospace engineer Baily Burns, and Mason Robbins of the Saxavord Space Port, Scotland.

The AstroAccess ambassadors are Sheila Xu, Eric Shear, and Mary Kate Cooper. Sheila Xu is currently pursuing dual MPP and MBA degrees at Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the first Deaf Asian female pilot and has interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Eric Shear is a graduate student at the University of Florida, where he is studying chemical engineering with the goal of working in the space industry on life support and in-situ resource utilization. Eric flew as part of the Deaf Crew on MAA1. Mary Cooper is a student pursuing a Masters of Science in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering at Stanford University, where she recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science. Mary is a champion athlete and a below-the-knee amputee. Mary worked at SpaceX on the spaceflight training team to help prepare Polaris Dawn, NASA Crew-5 and Crew-6 for spaceflight.

The spaceflight training program included participation by humanoid robot Bina48 who was present for rount-table conversations and was represented in an emergency water egress training session at the UA pool.

By |2022-11-24T16:52:54+00:00November 22nd, 2022|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Director for SAM, Lead Engineer for SIMOC speak at Mars Society 2022

Kai Staats, Director of Research and lead developer of the SAM Mars Habitat at Biosphere 2 shared the latest updates for the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars at the Mars Society Conference 2022. Following Kai, Ezio Melotti, Lead Developer for the Scalable, Interactive Model of an Off-world Community provided an engaging, informative introduction to agent-based modeling, the SIMOC platform for research and education, and some of the goals of this unique project.

Mars Society
Arizona State University
Sunday, October 23
Morning Plenaries
Video: Kai at 1:30:30; Ezio at 2:02:40

Thank you Mars Society and for solid audience participation!

By |2022-10-27T16:00:36+00:00October 24th, 2022|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

adAstra magazine features SAM

adAstra Magazine features SAM at Biosphere 2 - AA 2022-3 The Lunar Economy
Plus the Return to Mars and Everyday Heroes

The National Space Society’s adAstra magazine features SAM at Biosphere 2 in issue 2022-3. This five page article was written by reporter Melissa Silva. It weaves a brief history of Biosphere 2, the Test Module, with construction under the leadership of Director of Research Kai Staats.

By |2022-11-08T03:35:01+00:00October 1st, 2022|Categories: In the news|0 Comments