Space Habitats

Small scale ecosystems

The Earth is a huge and interconnected ecosystem, would something as small as a habitat provide a self sustaining ecosystem? The best known experiment is Biosphere2, which attempted to create an entirely self sustaining closed environment.

Self sustaining close environment

This is generally regarded as a failure. Oxygen and carbon dioxide levels fluctuated, they did not grow enough food (although almost enough) and all the non-human vertebrates and pollinating insects died, while others (cockroaches and ants) were all too successful.

In fact, I would regard it as a partial success, given the limitations on the experiment:

More research is needed, but I would judge that sustainable ecosystems, on the scale of the habitats discussed here, are quite achievable. It does however imply that the bigger the habitat, the easier it would be.


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