Space Architecture

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Artificial Biosphere

George Dvorsky writes that there should be an X-prize for an artificial biosphere:

Conventional futurist wisdom suggests that if our atmosphere should completely go to pot — which it certainly appears to be doing — humans could still eek out an existence living in self-sustaining biospheres. This would hardly represent a desirable outcome, but hey, it would certainly beat extinction. Moreover, a successful biosphere would prove to be an important step in the direction of space colonization, terraforming and remedial ecology.
Unfortunately, the impetus these days from the private sector is towards the development of space tourism technologies like space planes and space hotels. Perhaps some entrepreneur should start an X Prize for the first viable and long term biosphere. It is the space tourism industry, after all, that would most certainly benefit from the creation of a working biosphere; humans will not go very far in space without a self-sustaining ecosystem around them.

Moreover, given the rate of global warming and the ongoing depletion of the ozone layer, our atmosphere may start to turn on us. In the more distant future there will be such risks as global ecophagy. In our desperation, we may have no choice to but to dwell in temporary biospheres until we learn to fix our broken planet.

An X-prize is a great idea! The idea of living in an enclosed, isolated, and controlled environment where I could pursure a monastic, scholarly, quiet existence without worrying about cars, taxes, or ex-girlfriends, is most appealing.

Most people think of Biosphere 2, if they think about artficial biospheres at all. Since one of the problems was the loss of oxygen, that problem should be tackled! It might be a difficult excercise, due to the fact that oxygen appears to be very reactive! Chemists everywhere roll their eyes and mutter "duh" in response.


  • At 12:22 PM, May 18, 2007, Blogger Charles said…

    I totally for this kind of prise, see what happen for the X-Prise concerning space tourism : it emulate the people and one team has been able to achieve the goal! I hope we can build this bubbles soon specially above the facility (runway, firms etc.) that are responsible of the pollution. I hope also a space crew will be albe to settle the moon or Mars with that. See, lots of possiblities...

    Hope you will continue your blog I will watch it often to see if there are updates.


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