Deming, NM to Tucson, AZ., Biosphere 2
Tucson Travel Blog› entry 75 of 169 › view all entries
Parked at the Elks Lodge in Tucson for the third time and decided to take a ride up to the Biosphere 2. This is a $150 to $200 million facility built in the 1980's by a wealthy oil man, Ed Bass. It is a huge self contained seried of connected buildings which were built to see if humans could survive in a sealed environment for two years. A crew of 4 men and 4 women were sealed in the facility for a planned two years. They were to grow all of their food and the oxygen wqs to be generated by plantings within it. The experiment failed when food supplies and oxygen ran low. The seals were broken and additional supplies were sent in. A second group also failed and they concluded that a self contained environment of this design could not sustain life over a long period of time.
A tour of the buildings was very interesting. Our guide showed us a rainforest, savanna, desert, coral reef, and lungs that controlled the air pressure within the sealed buildings. The work done in this expensive experimemnt ranged from good scientific to a laughing stock. Columbia University took over the facility for 6 years and then left it with law suites still going on due to breach of contract. Mr. Bass still owns it but might tear it down as the only financial support is from the minimal tourist fees. It cost almost $20.00 to take the tour.
One accident that effected the Biosphere2 was the unplanned introduction of ants who came in with some trees or bushes. They are everywhere within the buildings.
Summary: Elk Lodges: 32, Escapee RV Parks: 20, Public RV Parks: 19, National Parks: 32, Ships: 9, Forts: 17
Expenses: 24 months on the road with an average of $ 1844 per month