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Guest: KAI STAATS; Topics: SAM space analog for Moon and Mars updates. For more info, see their website @ https://samb2.space. Teams were discussed as was the project, purpose, goals and objectives.
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We welcomed Kai Staats back to the program to provide us with an update on the SAM space analog for the Moon and Mars at Biosphere 2 which is now part of the University of Arizona. Kai was first with us on Jan. 5, 2021. You can hear this program at www.thespaceshow.com/show/05-jan-2021/broadcast-3625-trent-tresch-and-kai-staats. During our July 8th 67 minute program, Kai not only once again introduced us to the SAM project but updated us on their progress leading to operation in addition to answering many excellent listener provided questions. If you refer to the Tags, you will have a good sense of the multiple topics discussed and the order they were discussed in our interview. For your convenience, I've copied the Tags below:
"Tags: Kai Staats, Space Analog for the Moon and Mars - SAM, reconditioning Biosphere2, University of Arizona camp, SIMOC research-grade computer simulation interface, lunar habitat, Mars habitat, simulating 1G, SAM2B2, testing exploration before going, habitat description, SAM teams & length of stay, environmental recycling, cost per team, team objectives, team selection process, the use of computer models, green house, using O2 for SAM, CO2 scrubbers for SAM, Moon Mars preferences, habitat entertainment, habitat personal space, screening team applicants, SAM blog."
In addition, Kai provided me with this short three minute video detailing their work on Biosphere 2 getting SAM ready for operation: https://samb2.space/2022/05/06/sam-construction-phases-i-and-ii-january-2021-through-april-2022. As you will hear Kai say during the interview, there are more stories and lots more information to be had from their blog which you can read at https://samb2.space/blog. For me, I found the discussion about the teams, what their research might consist of, the selection process and even the screening of team applicants to be interesting. I also liked the early comments Kai offered about cleaning out the desert animals that had taken up resident in Biosphere 2 over the years of nonuse. Having lived in and gone to school in Tucson from an early age and then again at the UofA, I have grown to love that environment. When my kids were young I took them and my Mom to visit Biosphere 2 shortly after the experiment shut it down but before it was part of the UofA campus. So hearing about Sonora Desert reptilian and wildlife was a bit of a bonus for me in talking with Kai and I want to share that with the audience. By the way, Las Vegas desert environment is a bit different than the Sonora Desert environment. Maybe I will do a show on desert environments someday just because of my love for the environments and my interest in the subject but that is not for this show. Although a question I forgot to ask Kai was about having a Moon-Mars Analog in a desert versus say a coastal or tropical environment or even an environment similar to what I had in Northern CA and how that environmental change my impact the analog. I would have liked to have asked about the local environmental impact on the analog research study, experience and conclusions from the experiment. Oh well, maybe Kai will see this and respond on the blog.
Another standout for me was what SAM was and is doing with computer research simulation, education and interface using SIMOC hosted by National Geographic. Listen to what Kai said about SIMOC and the free use of it for SAM researchers, including teams. His description of SIMOC depicted it as both exciting and rewarding and a "stellar" benefit and addition to SAM. Other questions that listeners brought up included the cost of a team participating in SAM, for how long would a team participate and what research could the team select to do. As Kai was responding to these listener questions, I found the work of the SAM selection committee to be interesting and either rewarding or the opposite if it did not accept a team's research proposal. Kai went on to outline the general nature of desired research projects. What do you think about them as guidelines for participating? Your thoughts are welcome on our blog for the show. For other discussion topics, questions and answers, please refer to the above tags.
Note we had one phone call from Fremont John. John heard Kay talk at ISDC and urged me to bring him back on the show for this update program. John covered many topics with Kai including signing up for SIMOC, a greenhouse with SAM, he asked questions about O2 for the habitat and the potential need for CO2 scrubbers. Don't miss the detailed call with John and Kai. It was an important part of our discussion.
Please post your comments/questions for Kai Staats on our blog for this program. You can reach Kai through me or the SAM website, https://samb2.space. Please remember to become a regular on their blog which you can find at https://samb2.space/blog.