On Wed, 9 Jun 1999 12:03:37 +1000 "Death Lord Zod"
>Now for ten points...
>In a discussion recently the topic came up about an experiment in the
>which involved a sealed mini-ecosystem replete with people, to see if
>closed system was viable, or for how long, or something like that.
Biosphere II was not that long ago. Maybe 6 years? I visited the site 2 years ago. It's in New Mexico and Columbia University has a research contract to use the facility for ecoplogical research.
They run a hotel on-site that has the cheapest, most beautiful hotel rooms in the whole state. We _did_ go in the off season, summer.
The project failed because the soil bacteria used up all the oxygen, and because people could not grow enough food to remain comfortably fed. Waste products like formaldehyde built up, and eventually every small animal in the ecosystem died except cockroaches and ants.
The people subsisted off beans and mangos for many months, with touches of fish and other oddments.