Space architectures

Barbara Imhof, A.C.J. Vermeulen, Peter Weiss, Emma Flynn, Richard Hyams, Christian Kerrigan, Max Rengifo, Susmita Mohanty, Susan Fairburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


When an article about one of the largest biospheric projects entitled “Noah’s Ark—The Sequel” (Reingold 1990) appeared in September 1990, the author Edwin Reingold could not anticipate that Biosphere 2 would become the proof that constructing a closed ecology is one of the toughest challenges for humankind and for long-term spaceflight. It is not commonly known that it is in fact a prerequisite for future space exploration to have a reliable closed-loop life-support system in place. To date, nobody in the world has such a system ready. We now know that the Biosphere 2 experiment failed to a certain extent because of soil bacteria respiring and producing a lot of carbon dioxide. This means that the oxygen levels decreased (Fisher Smith 2010) quickly and dramatically. It seemed that the wrong choice of soil was made for the climate in Arizona. Soon after the door was sealed, the crew already felt the change in the atmospheric composition, although they were only 3 months into the mission (Broad 1993).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStar Ark
Subtitle of host publicationA Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship
EditorsRachel Armstrong
Number of pages54
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-31042-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31040-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringer Praxis Books


  • Synthetic biology
  • Phase change material
  • International Space Station
  • Lunar surface
  • Urban agriculture


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