Micro-Earth: A Glimpse Into How Humans Could Survive In Mars
Scientists in Siberia have been developing a manmade ecosystem that can support and sustain human life on Mars. The high-tech facility has been kept secret from Westerners since the days of the Cold War. Now, more details regarding the revolutionary space experiment have been revealed.
Krasnoyarsk is the administrative center of Siberia and the site of the BIOS-3 system. The scientific space institute was created in 1965 to find ways for Soviet astronauts to survive longer in space. The "micro-Earth" facility was commissioned by none other than Sergei Korolev, the Soviet Union's chief rocket engineer and spacecraft designer.
RT reported that the BIOS-3 system makes it possible for humans to produce their own oxygen, water, and food in a safe and self-contained environment. The facility is basically a 315-cubic-meter room that's divided into four quadrants and linked together by tightly-sealed hermetic doors.
One compartment acts as the facility's common space where astronauts could rest, prepare food and do system maintenance. Crops such as wheat, potato, cabbage, onion and carrot are grown via artificial lighting in two other compartments. Scientists said people who have seen the movie "The Martian" might have a good idea on what the BIOS-3 system looks like.
The Siberian Martian
Nikolai Burgreyev, 74, a senior engineer at the facility, is dubbed by his peers as the "Siberian Martian." In all his years working for the project, Burgreyev spent a total of 13 months living inside the BIOS-3 system.
"I lived in this compartment. It's really small but it was enough, it's just 5 square metres," Burgreyev told The Siberian Times. "There was a table, bed, a shelf for clothes, and that was it, you don't really need anything else."
He added that he and his fellow "bionauts" had no time to miss their family or friends. Work consumed their daily routine. They had to comply every task given to them by researchers who were monitoring them from the outside. They also had to keep themselves in good shape while making sure their food was growing at a timely pace.
Facility's Future Is Unclear
As of the moment, the BIOS-3 system is still years removed from serving its real function. Siberian scientists are still searching for new ways to improve the system's sustainability, but anything bigger and better would most certainly require greater financial backing from the Russian government.