Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association: General Meeting – Constructing SAM; a Mars Habitat at Biosphere 2

 Kai Staats, Director of the Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) will talk about this hermetically sealed habitat being built at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 to simulate living conditions on Mars.

The SAM pressure vessel incorporates a greenhouse and crew quarters with workshop, kitchen, common area, sleeping accommodations and airlock into the adjacent Mars yard.  The greenhouse provides hydroponic and soil-based growing environments, controlled lighting, humidity, heating and cooling. Other support systems provide clean air and water. The adjacent half acre is a replica of a Martian landscape. Pressure suits, rovers, and drones can be tested over varied terrain and obstacles. The first teams are scheduled for May 2022. Kai will describe SAM’s core science research objectives, and share photos and stories about the construction process.

Presenter:  Kai Statts, science researcher, filmmaker, and writer and a veteran developer of platforms for research and science education. He was co-founder and CEO of the world-renowned Yellow Dog Linux (YDL) operating system for ten years. The YDL platform was used in Department of Energy, NASA, and University research across a full spectrum of sciences. Kai wrote the machine learning algorithm Karoo GP which has been used at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) for classification of glitches and supernovae; and was principal designer of the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory in Tanzania, the first of its kind in East Africa.

At Arizona State University Kai led the development of SIMOC, a research-grade computer simulation and educational interface hosted by National Geographic that enables citizen scientists to explore the complexity of a human habitat on Mars. At Biosphere 2, Kai and his team are taking the next big step by building SAM.

Of special interest to TAAA, many years ago, Kai was president of the Phoenix Astronomical Society where he first met David Levy, who remains a dear friend today.

  • Audience: Teen, Adult
  • Genre: Space & Astronomy
  • Type: Online, Presentation

The event is finished.


Dec 03 2021


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

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Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association
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