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Biosphere 2: An American Space Odyssey

With dreams of one day colonizing space, eight people sealed themselves inside a giant glass biosphere in the Arizona desert in 1991.  By the time they emerged two years later, they had “suffocated, starved and went mad.”

In 1991, eight men and women sealed themselves inside Biosphere 2, a vast, greenhouse-like structure that replicated the ecosystems of “Biosphere 1” –- Earth. They called themselves “Biospherians,” dressed in Star Trek-like uniforms, and promised not to emerge for two years.

The $150 million experiment aimed to collect data with an eye to building structures to colonize space. But it quickly went awry, and led to many questions. Was this really science? Or just science fiction?

Twenty years later, the dreams that gave rise to Biosphere 2 continue. Mars One, a non-profit venture, is seeking to colonize Mars –- then market it as a reality TV show.


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