The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
5 Reviews
It's a story that has never been told … until now. Imagine being sealed into a closed environment for two years — cut off from the outside world with only seven other people — enduring never-ending hunger, severely low levels of oxygen, and extremely difficult relationships. Crew members struggled to survive in Biosphere 2, where they swore nothing would go in or out — no food or water, not even air — all in the name of science. For the first time, biospherian Jane Poynter — who lived and loved in the Biosphere — is ready to share what really happened in there. She takes readers on a riveting, fast-paced trip through shattered lives, scientific discovery, cults, love, fears of insanity, and inspiring human endurance. The eight biospherians who closed themselves into the Biosphere emerged 730 days later… much wiser, thinner, and having done what many had said was impossible.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JenneB - LibraryThing

I visited Biosphere 2 recently and was FASCINATED so I wanted to read someone's memoir who had lived inside. This lady is not the most exciting writer ever, but the story is so crazy that I finished ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JanaRose1 - LibraryThing

On September 26, 1991 the doors of Biosphere 2, a hermetically sealed, ecologically engineered environment, closed its doors, sealing in eight brave adventurers for two years. Packed in the 3.15-acre ... Read full review

Contents

OXYGEN DILEMMA
1
A RARIFIED ATMOSPHERE
7
ECOPRENEUR
21
SEA CHANGE
27
EXTREME TRAINING
45
BUILDING A NEW WORLD
61
VERTEBRATE X Y AND Z
85
THE TALLEST NAIL GETS HAMMERED DOWN
99
STARVING SUFFOCATING AND GOING QUITE MAD
225
I DREAMED OF WILD HORSES
253
DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY
261
WINDOWSHOPPING
269
ARE WE THERE YET?
295
REENTRY
313
THIRTYSEVEN BRANDS OF KETCHUP
319
APRIL FOOLS
323

CLOSURE
111
WHAT HONEYMOON?
133
THE LONG DARK WINTER
149
CABIN FEVER
167
IT TAKES FOUR MONTHS TO MAKE A PIZZA
180
GOLD OR LEAD
195
LINES DRAWN IN DESERT SAND
201
AND NOW WHAT?
331
EPILOGUE
337
BIBLIOGRAPHY
347
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
353
PHOTO PERMISSIONS
355
INDEX
357
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

JANE POYNTER is an adventurer whose participation in Biosphere 2 involved training in survival techniques in the Australian outback and sailing a ferro-cement boat in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She was the only member of the Biosphere crew to be fired three times (and reinstated three times). While inside, she and her husband-to-be, fellow crew member Taber McCallum, not only arranged to have a house built for themselves, but began a space technology firm, Paragon Space Development Corporation. She has designed and built experiments that have ridden in the International Space Station and had three more on the ill-fated Columbia mission. In addition to writing this book, she and Paragon are developing life support systems for the space shuttle and for Navy deep-sea divers. In addition, she is working on an innovative project to feed the hungry in the poorest nations while sequestering carbon. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and enjoys motorcycle racing for weekend relaxation.

Jane appears in the Encyclopedia Britannica as a member of the Biosphere 2 crew, and has appeared on many television shows, magazine and newspaper articles about the project and her work in space and the environment.

JAKE PAGE is a science editor and writer, novelist, and essayist who has collaborated with scientists and others on thirty books of non-fiction, most recently THE BIG ONE (Houghton-Mifflin) with geologist Charles Officer and, before that, THE FIRST AMERICANS (Random House) with archaeologist James M. Adovasio. He was editor of Natural History and science editor of Smithsonian. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.

Bibliographic information