As much a monument to scientific novelty as anything else, this once-famed sealed dome was the site of an early 1990s experiment in contained life support. Remember the internecine jealousies and fractious disputes? Like a “Real Housewives” show, only with loftier goals. Visitors today can contemplate both the transitory nature of scientific experiment and the much-expanded facility’s (now 7.2 million cubic feet under glass) current incarnation as a research center, operated by the University of Arizona. Among the scientific studies conducted here are closed-loop biology, the health and evolution of contained environments, and how they relate to the first biosphere, earth itself.
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