SAM Mars Analog

A Space Analog for the Moon and Mars


SAM is a Space Analog for the Moon and Mars. This hi-fidelity, hermetically sealed habitat analog and research center is composed of a living quarters complete with workshop, kitchen, common space, private quarters and toilet facility; pass-through airlock, and greenhouse with temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide level controls. When complete, SAM will include a half-acre Mars yard for pressure suit, tool use, and rover tests.

SAM is not another open air analog—this is as close as you can get to living on Mars without reducing gravity or dropping the temperature to −100°C.

Test Module

As with other analogs, teams will propose research projects in the fields of biology, plant physiology, regolith chemistry and soil ecology, food cultivation, AI and robotics, personal psychology, tool use, haptics, and habitation studies to name a few. If accepted, teams of four can live within SAM from two weeks to a few months at a time, while additional crew can stay on the Biosphere 2 campus, making use of the dedicated control room and lodging. Crew can rotate on a scheduled basis. EVAs in pressure suits are assisted by SAM staff, enabling a fully immersed experience, from start to finish.

SAM development is lead by University of Arizona Biosphere 2 Visiting Researchers, Kai Staats and Trent Tresch, in concert with senior staff at Biosphere 2, the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, Paragon Space Development Corporation, and NASA. SAM is a return to the origin of the iconic Biosphere 2 and a look to the future as we prepare to become an interplanetary species. At SAM you are a part of this next, great adventure

SAM hydroponics

Construction of SAM is underway! Visit the SAM blog for weekly photos and updates!

SAM Research Team

Kai Staats

Research Director of SAM

Trent Tresch

Director of Research & Development for SAM