In the news

UA crew of professional artists completes simulated Moon mission

SAM Crew Imagination I, March 2024

University of Arizona crew of professional artists completes simulated Moon mission
By Mikayla Mace Kelley, University of Arizona Communications
March 27, 2024

‘Those first couple steps were magical,’ says a dancer who explored the ways of understanding and sharing the experience of space travel and exploration through art. UA professor and SAM crew member of Imagination 1 Elizabeth George leaped into the air and lingered. When her feet finally touched down, she pushed up and spun three times before returning gently to Earth.

Such ballon – a term in dance meaning light-footedness – would normally be impossible on Earth, she said, especially while donning a roughly 20-pound, pressurized spacesuit. Her near weightlessness was the product of engineering that allowed her to feel what it might be like to pirouette on the moon.

Read the full story …

By |2024-03-28T07:00:09+00:00March 27th, 2024|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

Crew Imagination I completes third mission at SAM

Crew Imagination I has concluded the third mission conducted at the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) at Biosphere 2. Just before 10:00 AM Mountain Time, March 15, 2024, the crew released the pressure from the habitat, and when the internal pressure equaled the outside, ambient pressure, the gathered crowd of friends, family, and colleagues, including Lindah Leigh (of the original 1991-93 two year Biosphere 2 mission) welcomed the crew as they opened the hatch and stepped onto the airlock landing.

New channels KVOA and KGUN were on-site to capture the story during the press conference held in the Mars yard adjacent to SAM.

KVOA – Chanel 4
UA artists show how a simulation shows what it’s like going to moon

KGUN – Channel 9
Imagination 1 crew “lands on earth” after 6-day simulated moon mission

By |2024-03-17T06:27:02+00:00March 15th, 2024|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Imagination I to be the third crew sealed inside SAM

Imagination I to be third crew at SAM, Biosphere 2

All-artist crew to undertake a six-day, simulated moon mission

TUCSON, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2024)— An all-artist crew, featuring four University of Arizona professional artists—a non-fiction writer, dancer/choreographer, poet and textile artist—will undertake a six-day, simulated moon mission, generating creative work shaped by the limitations and possibilities of life and culture beyond Earth, March 10-15.

These artists will conduct the mission in a recently opened analog-research station, affiliated with the iconic Biosphere 2, a mission that also will be one of the first artist-focused analog space missions globally.

Read the complete press release …

By |2024-03-17T01:49:11+00:00February 8th, 2024|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Interview for Biosphere 2 Podcast

Space Analog for the Moon and Mars
by Aaron Bugaj

In this episode we are joined by Kai Staats. Kai is a veteran developer, designer, filmmaker, and scientist. Kai is the Director of SAM, Space Analog for the Moon and Mars, here at Biosphere 2. SAM is a hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed Mars habitat analog with greenhouse, living quarters, airlock, pressure suits, and a half acre Mars yard. Since 2021 Kai and his team have been constructing SAM, and just last month, SAM hosted it’s first two sealed missions, Inclusion 1 and Inclusion 2.

In this podcast, Kai takes us on his journey to build SAM. Breaking down the inspiration for SAM’s creation, and the research goals for SAM’s future.

Listen to the full interview via Spotify or Apple Podcast

By |2023-08-16T21:04:28+00:00August 16th, 2023|Categories: In the news|0 Comments

DoubleTap features Andy Squires, Inclusion II

DoubleTap feature hands-on reviews, guidance, opinion, interviews and conversation around accessibility in the tech industry. The interviews and programs help the audience better understand how technology can assist in everyday life. In this episode, host Marc Aflalo interviews Andy Squires, Accessibility Officer for the Inclusion II mission to SAM the second week of May 2023.

Listen here: where Andy’s interview starts at 27:20.

By |2024-03-17T01:44:23+00:00July 10th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

SAM receives $1.5 Million from State of Arizona

The Space Analog for the Moon & Mars at Biosphere 2 has received $1,500,000 funding from the State of Arizona congress, as the governor passed this bill into law with the close of June 2023.

This incredible initiative was made possible by lobbyist and space enthusiast Brett Mecum and the Senator David Gowan who wrote the bill, introduced SAM Director Kai Staats to both the House and Senate for his presentations, and attended the exit of the first crew to attend SAM on May 2, 2023. Senator Gowan has demonstrated a keen interest in space exploration and recognizes the multi-fold value and international recognition it brings to the University of Arizona and the State of Arizona.

This is a game-changer for SAM, enabling us to move ahead for three years with dedicated funding for construction of the massive indoor Mars yard and upgrade of the SAM facilities.

We cannot thank Senator Gowan, Mr. Mecum, and the Arizona House and Senate for their support of our effort at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 to help our species become interplanetary while advancing research and education in the sciences.

The funds are being immediately applied to construction of the Mars yard, carrying forward our nearly three years effort to build this leading, world-class research facility.

Thank you!

By |2023-09-13T06:18:05+00:00July 1st, 2023|Categories: In the news|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.

Read the story …

By |2024-03-17T05:12:42+00:00May 15th, 2023|Categories: In the news, Research Teams|0 Comments

Crew Inclusion II enters SAM!

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

Inclusion II, the second crew to enter SAM, the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars, sealed the outer airlock hatch today, May 10, 2023 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 |2024-03-17T05:02:11+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

Becoming a multiplanetary species, by Mikayla Kelley, UA

Cassandra Klos is greeted by Linda Leigh upon exit of SAM after six days sealed mission.

Becoming a multiplanetary species: Crew completes first mission in habitat at Biosphere 2
By Mikayla Mace Kelley, University of Arizona Communications
May 5, 2023

On April 27, a four-person crew sealed themselves in an air-tight, pressurized habitat on the grounds of the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, where eight people conducted a similar experiment more than 30 years earlier.

The Space Analog for the Moon and Mars, or SAM, habitat was created to allow people to experience what it might be like to live on the surface of another celestial body.

On May 2, six days after the first crew members entered the habitat, a crowd gathered to watch them emerge. As valves were released to decompress the habitat, it began to hiss, and a hush fell over the crowd. Minutes later, the pressure inside the habitat matched the outdoors, prompting Linda Leigh – one of the original eight people to live in Biosphere 2 for two years – to turn a red lever and swing open the habitat’s airlock hatch.

Read the full story …

By |2023-07-13T03:37:56+00:00May 5th, 2023|Categories: In the news|0 Comments
Go to Top