Jane Poynter On Life In Biosphere 2

Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.

jane_poynter.jpgJane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2 -- an experience that provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of environments.

This is the first TED talk drawn from an independently organized TEDx event, held at the University of Southern California.

Poynter is one of only eight people to live in Biosphere 2 for two years. In 1991, she and seven others were locked in a three-acre, hermetically-sealed environment in the Arizona desert. Nothing was allowed in or out, and everything had to be recycled. Poynter, and the rest of the team, endured dangerously low oxygen levels and constant hunger, but they survived -- something many scientists said was impossible. 

After leaving Biosphere 2, Poynter went on to found Paragon Space Development Corporation, along with her former fellow biospherian and now husband, Taber MacCallum. Paragon develops technologies that might allow humans to live in extreme environments such as outer space and underwater.


As president of Paragon, Poynter has had experiments flown on the International Space Station, Russian Mir Space Station and US Space Shuttle, as well as working on underwater technologies with the US Navy.

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