In the Arizona desert, “analog astronauts” gathered this weekend for an annual conference in a giant, futuristic habitat called Biosphere 2.
The event, called the Analog Astronauts Conference, is an annual gathering showcasing the work of “analog astronauts,” or researchers who have completed simulated space missions, living and working in habitats on Earth that mimic the living conditions expected on destinations like Mars. or the Moon. .
The event was held from May 6 to 8 at biosphere 2a massive research facility in Oracle, Arizona that, in the early 1990s, housed an experiment in which a team of “biospherians” lived in the habitat for two years.
Video: ‘Spaceship Earth’ tells the story of 8 ‘visionaries’ in Biosphere 2 – Trailer
But don’t worry, the conference didn’t lock up participants for two years. Instead, attendees got a glimpse of what the habitat is really like; Biosphere 2 is home to a series of human-made biomes including a rainforest, coral reef, manufactured ocean, and more.
Speakers at the event included astronaut (as well as analog astronaut) Sian Proctor, who flew SpaceX’s private orbital mission Inspiration4; architect Leszek Orzechowski, who created the LunAres Research Station, an analogous habitat in Poland; space engineer Sahba El-Shawa; exploratory space artist Richelle Gribble; filmmaker and researcher Kai Staats and more.
The event’s keynote speaker was author Frank White, best known for his 1987 book “The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution.” White coined the term “overall effect,” which is used to describe the psychological change humans experience when they view the Earth from space.
Browse a full list of speakers here.
In addition to panels and speakers, the event also included art and music at the event, as well as stargazing with Proctor. The event also included a screening of Space.com’s documentary on senior writer Chelsea Gohd’s adventures as an analog astronaut titled: “Chelsea Goes to Mars.”
Disclosure: Author Chelsea Gohd was involved in the planning of the Analog Astronaut Conference and is an analog astronaut who completed an analog mission to Mars in 2020 along with other team members who helped plan this event. Gohd is listed as a speaker for the event but, having contracted COVID-19, she was not a speaker.
Email Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on twitter @Spacepointcom and Facebook.