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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

Analog Astronaut Conference at Biosphere 2 a success!

Analog Astronaut Conference attendees at SAM, Biosphere 2

From Friday May 6 through Sunday May 8 Biosphere 2 was proud to host the second annual Analog Astronaut Conference, co-founded by Inspiration 4 astronaut Sian Proctor. The event welcomed more than 100 persons from around the world, a diverse assembly of teachers and students, engineers and artists, writers, filmmakers, story tellers and yes, one full-fledged astronaut whose presentation was personal, motivational, and a fresh as if she had landed just yesterday.

Talks in two parallel tracks were a blend of the technical aspects of how research is conducted in a dozen analogs world-wide, and personal experience, stories from cold, wet, open-bottom submarines submerged in a nearly frozen lake, from a lava tube in Iceland and a renowned, NASA-funded facility in downtown Moscow, Russia. There was something for everyone, new or well versed in the analog world.

Deputy Director of Biosphere 2 John Adams, Director of Research for SAM Kai Staats, and Founding Director of the Center for Human Space Exploration (CHaSE) Trent Tresch were among the speakers, Kai and Trent providing behind-the-scenes tours of B2 and SAM Sunday morning before attendees packed their bags and bid farewell to old friends and new acquaintances alike.

There are many stories to tell and more photos to come, but for now we will conclude that the second annual Analog Astronaut Conference was a complete success!

Biospherian Mark Nelson joins a panel discussion at the Analog Astronaut Conference 2022, Biosphere 2 Inspiration 4 astronaut Sian Proctor presents to the Analog Astronaut Conference 2022, Biosphere 2 A gila monster explores the Mars yard crater at SAM, Biosphere 2 Group photo at the close of the Analog Astronaut Conference 2022, Biosphere 2

By |2022-05-28T14:59:10+00:00May 8th, 2022|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Analog Astronaut Conference at Biosphere 2 and SAM

Analog Astronaut Conference at Biosphere 2, May 5-8, 2022

We are proud to announce that the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 and SAM will host the second annual Analog Astronaut Conference, May 5-8, 2022. The theme is “Learning from Space to Improve Earth and Humanity” with an emphasis on How analog missions allow us to learn from Space to Improve Earth and Humanity.

Visit the Analog Astronaut Conference website and see you soon!

By |2022-03-16T05:23:11+00:00January 1st, 2022|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Article about Biosphere 2, SAM in Scientific American

Scientific American article

Biosphere 2: The Once Infamous Live-In Terrarium Is Transforming Climate Research
by By Keridwen Cornelius for Scientific American

“The Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) ‘is very much, at a scientific level and even a philosophical level, similar to the original Biosphere,’ says SAM director Kai Staats. Unlike other space analogues around the world, SAM will be a hermetically sealed habitat. Its primary purpose will be to discover how to transition from mechanical methods of generating breathable air to a self-sustaining system where plants, fungi and people produce a precise balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.”

Read the full article at Scientific American …

By |2021-10-04T20:17:56+00:00October 4th, 2021|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Analog Astronaut Conference 2021

This coming Saturday, May 1 is the first-ever Analog Astronaut Conference. This first-of-its-kind forum is assembled in part by Dr. Sian Proctor, a member of the Inspiration 4 all-civilian mission to space.

The conference agenda is as follows:
09:00 – 09:55 EDT Keynote Astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski
10:00 – 10:55 EDT Analog Astronaut Research Panel
11:00 – 11:30 EDT Keynote Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj
11:30 – 12:00 EDT Break
12:00 – 12:55 EDT Space Training Programs Panel
13:00 – 13:55 EDT Analog Habitats Panel
14:00 – 14:30 EDT Keynote Dr. Sian Proctor
14:30 – 15:00 EDT Break
15:00 – 15:55 EDT Diversity and Inclusion in Analogs Panel
16:00 – 16:55 EDT Analog Astronaut Science Communication and the Arts

SAM Director Kai Staats will be participating in the Analog Habitats Panel.

Per the embedded video (top), the audio for Kai’s presentation in the Analog Habitats Panel is rather garbled, so a transcription is provided:

Kai Staats, Director of SAM at Biosphere 2
We are building a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars at the Biosphere 2, the world-
renowned facility outside of Oracle, Arizona … it has a [heritage] that goes back to the
late 1980s and early ‘90s with eight people living inside for two years … we are carrying
forward the experience of that facility.

We have the great fortune of using the Test Model, which was the prototype built before
the Biosphere in 1987 [and] operating through 1989. The eight Biospherians are shown
standing on top of the [Test Model] lung. This facility was used for up to three weeks
with fully bioregenerative life support. So it’s basically a sealed greenhouse … an
innovated way to manage pressure using “a lung”.

My good friend and associate Trent Tresch and I started working on the reconstruction
of this with volunteers and members of the Biosphere 2 team on January 20th and have
been going nonstop 18 hours a day for two and a half months straight. And we’ve been
grinding and sanding and vacuuming and rewiring and painting to get this facility up and
running. We’re doing everything we can, every step of the way is done with an eye to
the science.
So knowing that you would not actually build a greenhouse on Mars with exposed
windows due to the radiation, we have covered all upward facing glass with an
elastomeric to reduce the light and the thermal gain. We’ve also applied window tint that
is specifically [selected] to reduce the ambient light for those windows that are strictly
horizontal with a view through the thickness of the atmosphere by 50 percent of the
ambient light that is otherwise present in Arizona. So when you are inside, you do notice
a distinct difference. That also means that our plants will not receive ample light, which
means we will introduce synthetic lighting.

We’ve also had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Cameron Smith and Pacific
Spaceflight. I’ve been a member of that team for five or six years now, and Trent for the
same. And for those of you at Lunares you’re going to love your suits! I’ve seen your
suits and they are being shipped off soon—they’re beautiful. We have two suits coming
to our facility as well.This is John Adams, the Deputy Director of Biosphere 2. He conducted our first
pressure suit test a number of weeks ago … he found this to be a really good

This is our facility as of two days ago. You can see it’s coming along nicely. And this is
an artist’s rendering by Bryan Versteeg … of what our living quarters will look like when
finished, with three shipping containers [at the edge] of our Mars yard. This is a
rendering of the inside of the living quarters … more densely packed with two air locks,
one to the outside world and one to the greenhouse in order to maintain pressure
differentials, and [unique] humidity, CO2 and temperature levels. [We will be] pumping
CO2 from the crew quarters into the greenhouse and using an oxygen concentrator in
the greenhouse to put oxygen back into the living quarters.

Paragon [Space Development Corporation] has already delivered to us a full CO2
scrubber … that is operational as of the end of next week. Hopefully we’ll be doing our
first pressure test with CO2 scrubbing by the end of May.

This is a facility right next door, 6400 square feet of space that we’re rebuilding as a
Mars yard. We’re working with NASA and Arizona State University’s JMARS team to
select a potential human landing site on Mars, then scaling that crater down … we will
include a lava tube … and also a gravity off-set rig being designed by one of
Hollywood’s top stuntmen in order that we can enable people to experience whatever
gravitational field [they desire] everything from one-third to one-half to zero G if they just
want to fly around Mars. We are also embedding gas [delivery] pipes into the crater
[features] so that we can distribute various gases, trace gases, and water vapor for
autonomous rovers to discover.

I want to say thank you to the Biosphere 2, National Geographic, Paragon, U of A
CEAC, NASA, and everyone here for all the support and financing to make this

By |2021-06-14T01:36:50+00:00April 16th, 2021|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Universe Today article about Biosphere 2, SAM

Universe Today by Matthew Williams

Space and Sustainability: How the Lessons of Biosphere 2 Inspired SAM²
by Matt Williams
January 27, 2021

A lot has been said, penned, and documented about the famous experiment known as “Biosphere 2” (B2). For anyone whose formative years coincided with the early 90s, this name probably sounds familiar. Since the project launched in 1991, it has been heavily publicized, criticized, and was even the subject of a documentary – titled “Spaceship Earth” – that premiered in May of 2020.

To listen to some of what’s been said about B2 (even after 30 years), one might get the impression that it was a failure that proved human beings cannot live together in a sealed environment for extended periods of time. But in truth, it was a tremendous learning experience, the results of which continue to inform human spaceflight and ecosystem research today. In an era of renewed interplanetary exploration, those lessons are more vital than ever.

This is the purpose behind the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM²), a new analog experiment led by Kai Staats and John Adams. Along with an international team of specialists, experts from the University of Arizona, and support provided by NASA, the National Geographic Society, and commercial partners, SAM² will validate the systems and technology that will one-day allow for colonies on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Read the full article

By |2021-04-23T05:16:30+00:00January 28th, 2021|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Stage 1 construction of SAM is funded!

We are pleased to announce that the University of Arizona’s Tech Launch Arizona has provided funded for Stage 1 construction of SAM, a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars at the iconic Biosphere 2.

Tech Launch Arizona sees a unique opportunity to develop methods, procedures, and product driven IP for the advancement of human space exploration while improving our management of resources and sustained agriculture on Earth in the context of a changing climate.

This sets in motion the long-range plan to integrate SIMOC and SAM, where SIMOC improves its model of the complex nature of a human-in-the-loop closed ecosystem through data captured during SAM operations. SIMOC will then be given an AI engine with which it can monitor, manage, and control advanced, hermetically sealed human habitats on the Moon and Mars.

Kai Staats, Director of SAM at B2

By |2021-04-23T05:16:58+00:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: In the news|0 Comments