We are pleased to welcome David Wingar, Gregory Ross, Ian Castellanos, Meredith Greythorne, and Ryan Meneses to the SIMOC team for the next nine months. They will be working with SIMOC developers Ezio Melotti and Grant Hawkins to build a new back-end to the SIMOC web interface, providing a live data feed from the array of sensors in SAM, the hi-fidelity Mars habitat analog being constructed at the Biosphere 2.
ICES 2021, July 12-14, 2021
The paper “SIMOC – A hi-fidelity simulation of off-world, human habitation and bioregenerative life support as a platform for citizen scientists and virtual classrooms” was presented to the virtual International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) 2021 was authored by Kai Staats and Ezio Melotti of Over the Sun, LLC;, Tyson Brown of National Geographic Society; Pete Barnes of the New Albany Intermediate school; Gretchen Hollingsworth of the Barrow Arts & Sciences Academy; and Michael Pope of the Zama American Middle/High School, Japan.
Watch the virtual presentation (above) | Read the full paper.
Astrophysicist Dr. Paul Sutter interviews SAM Director Kai Staats from within the Biosphere 2!
“This week on Space Radio I had the opportunity to catch up with my good friend Kai Staats. Kai joined us from the grounds of the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 as we talked about his newest project, Space Analog for the Moon and Mars. Among other topics, we discussed the removal of perchlorates from the Martian soil and how Methane could potentially be used.” — Dr. Sutter
The Space Habitat Event is an international event dedicated to debate the operation of space analog stations and future Mars and Moon colonies / settlements / stations. The theme of this second edition is: “Sustainable Technologies for Future Space Habitats (Moon and Mars) and Analog Space Habitats”.
As the SIMOC team transitions from Phase IV into Phase V development, we are shifting design and coding gears from a year spent principally in improving the scalability and stability of the SIMOC deployment across Google Cloud Platform coupled with several improvements to the user interface, back into an effort to more closely define the agent interactions, improving their real-world representation.
Science educator and writer Dan Heim answers the question, “I know there’s water ice on the Moon and Mars, and I get how it can be melted and used for drinking, but I don’t get how they can make rocket fuel out of it. — WJ, Provo, UT”
Dan provides an animated answer at Sky Lights …
Former high school physics professor, lifelong amateur astronomer, and author of the Sky Lights, a weekly blog about things you see in the sky (and some you can’t see). Dan’s animated essays cover a wide range of disciplines including astronomy, meteorology, climatology, chemistry, physics, optics, earth & space science, and others.
This past two publications Dan has discussed Surviving in Space, with an emphasis on what it would take to make the International Space Station self-sustaining versus a habitat on the Moon or Mars. Dan writes, “Last week we looked at whether the ISS could be made totally self-sufficient and never require supply missions from Earth. The short answer was “yes” but the practical answer was “no”. However, in a colony on a moon or planet where outside resources (like water and minerals) are available, self-sufficiency is much easier.”
Space and Sustainability: How the Lessons of Biosphere 2 Inspired SAM²
by Matt Williams
January 27, 2021
A lot has been said, penned, and documented about the famous experiment known as “Biosphere 2” (B2). For anyone whose formative years coincided with the early 90s, this name probably sounds familiar. Since the project launched in 1991, it has been heavily publicized, criticized, and was even the subject of a documentary – titled “Spaceship Earth” – that premiered in May of 2020.
To listen to some of what’s been said about B2 (even after 30 years), one might get the impression that it was a failure that proved human beings cannot live together in a sealed environment for extended periods of time. But in truth, it was a tremendous learning experience, the results of which continue to inform human spaceflight and ecosystem research today. In an era of renewed interplanetary exploration, those lessons are more vital than ever.
This is the purpose behind the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM²), a new analog experiment led by Kai Staats and John Adams. Along with an international team of specialists, experts from the University of Arizona, and support provided by NASA, the National Geographic Society, and commercial partners, SAM² will validate the systems and technology that will one-day allow for colonies on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Tuesday 05 Jan 2021
Interview with Trent Tresch and Kai Staats of the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM)
Dr. David Livingston writes in summary of the interview, “We welcomed Trent Tresch back to the show and Kai Staats for the first time to discuss the SAM analog study at Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Our 65 minute discussion started by my asking Kai about his background and what specifically led him to the point of developing the SAM simulation model. Trent had experiences … that not only brought him in contact with Kai but to playing a substantial role in developing space [related projects] and the SAM.”
The first of the Phase IV updates to SIMOC is now live at the National Geographic server. This release marks a return to the evolution of the SIMOC user interface after several months work on an automated build and deployment pipeline by the development team. The current effort is focused on reducing the quantity of dashboard panels where in a single panel will have an inset pull-down menu with multiple options.
Now the Production / Consumption panel can display carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, and energy. Front-end developer Ezio Melotti states, “With the automated build and deployment system in place, we are now able to release SIMOC updates on a regular basis with the confidence of a fully tested environment. This first release lays the foundation for many more to come, soon.”