NSS Space Forum May 19: How Biosphere 2 Is Helping Prepare Astronauts for Moon and Mars

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The National Space Society invites you to the next Space Forum

Thursday, May 19, 2022, 9:00 pm to 10:15 pm EDT

Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM): 

How Research at Biosphere 2 Will Prepare Astronauts for Actual Missions

With Special Guests:

Kai Staats and Trent Tresch

SAM (Space Analog for the Moon and Mars): Currently under construction, this hi-fidelity Mars habitat analog is located at the renowned University of Arizona Biosphere 2. As with analogs before, SAM helps us prepare for the challenges of living and working away from our home world, on the Moon and Mars. By isolating research teams in a hermetically sealed space for varied periods of time SAM provides a unique, powerful environment in which to conduct a multitude of studies. These include mechanical and plant-based life support, plant biology, bioregeneration, food studies, haptics and tool use while encumbered by a pressure suit; EVA, rover, and drone field exploration; the challenges of isolation and interpersonal engagement and music, writing, photography and film.

SAM construction is being led by University of Arizona Biosphere 2 Director of Research Kai Staats while Trent Tresch develops the new Center for Human Space Exploration (ChaSE), both in concert with senior staff at Biosphere 2, the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, Paragon Space Development Corporation, and NASA.

SAM is a return to the origin of the iconic Biosphere 2 and a look to the future as we prepare to become an interplanetary species.

Join this informative space forum as Kai and Trent take you inside the SAM development. You will also hear about the design criteria, what researchers expect to learn by living and working in SAM and how this will prepare astronauts for future space missions. This session will be moderated by Anita Gale, NSS Chief Executive Officer.

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Kai Staats is a veteran developer of platforms for research and science education. He was co-founder and CEO of the world-renowned Yellow Dog Linux (YDL) operating system. YDL was used extensively in DOE, NASA, and university research across a spectrum of sciences. Kai wrote the machine learning algorithm Karoo GP which is used at LIGO for black hole and supernovae detection; and was principal designer of the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory in Tanzania, the first of its kind in East Africa. Funded by the National Geographic Society, Kai leads development of SIMOC, a research-grade computer simulation and educational interface that enables citizen scientists to explore the complexity of a human habitat on Mars. Now, Kai and his team are constructing SAM, a hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed Mars habitat analog with greenhouse, living quarters, airlock, and half acre Mars yard located at the iconic Biosphere 2.

Trent Tresch works in bridging the gap between traditional aerospace and new-space innovation. Starting his career in aeronautical education, he developed underwater Neutral Buoyancy programs. While working on more in-depth commercial astronautics trainings he began to build the next generation of accessible pressure suits and life support systems with Smith Aerospace Garments. This led him to high altitude crewed balloon flight tests and oversight of pressure suit operations. He currently resides at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 where he is co-developing the Center for Human Space Exploration.

Register today to reserve your seat and ask your questions. Use the link below.

Register no later than May 19 at 8 pm EDT

Past NSS Space Forums and Town Halls may be viewed here.


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