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Biosphere 2 reopens grounds for driving tours

Biosphere 2 reopens grounds for driving tours

The Biosphere 2 complex under construction in September 1990. Today, it is used as a research facility and is currently open for driving tours.

Looking for something completely different yet totally safe to do with your family this weekend?

Biosphere 2 is here for you.

For the next two months, the grounds of the research facility, originally built to be a self-sustaining, controlled environment, will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for self-guided driving tours.

The tour, which takes about 25 minutes to complete, brings visitors through core areas of Biosphere 2, according to press materials, including stops at the desert biome and outside of “the lung.” “The lung” equalized the air exchange during the original Biosphere 2 mission that saw eight scientists and researchers sealed in the facility for two years.

A Biosphere 2 mobile app that can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play will provide narration.

The driving tour is the first phase of Biosphere 2’s reopening to the public, deputy director John Adams said in press materials.

Tickets for the tour are $20 per car, carrying up to six passengers, and must be purchased in advance through the Biosphere 2 website, biosphere2.org.

A limited number of tickets will be sold per day.

To get there, take North Oracle Road-Arizona 77 about 20 miles north of Oro Valley, then follow the signs to the facility.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at ggay@tucson.com or 573-4679.

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