Glossary & Abbreviation
Terms We've Used
Other terms we've come across that you might find handy.
- American Standard for Computer Information Interchange
- A biosphere is an ecosystem which is closed to the input or output of matter, but open with respect to energy. The earth is a good example: It receives energy in the form of sunlight and radiates energy (infra-red) into space, but does not receive any materials (at least not enough to have an impact on life).
- Biosphere 2 in Arizona is another example, though they have not yet achieved a very good closure; food material has been imported, air has been leaking in & out and a few other miscellaneous things have crossed the 'boundary'. However they have (by far) the most impressive closed system built by man.
- The Russians are the first to work with CELSS. They have supported people inside their facility for months, and have graduated from simple closure using algae to a much more complex system using higher plants. Their systems are probably the closest to what we are building, though they weren't very well closed since many of their supporting materials (hydroponics) were imported or stored.
- The European term for biosphere (CELSS) is BLSS, or Biological Life Support System.
- Biological Life Support System, a European term for CELSS, a technical term for biosphere.
- Closed Ecological Life Support System. The common term is biosphere, though most people accept that a CELSS is a little more free to use higher technology to maintain a closed cycle (ie in a CELSS it is permissible to use wet oxidation to break down organic wastes like feces, or electrolyze water to obtain oxygen for short term use--though eventually the hydrogen thus released needs to be burned again to reform water). CELSS is also used to mean Controlled Ecological Life Support System.
- This term is popular with NASA, and is their usual term for biosphere or BLSS.
- This refers to an enclosed space, and is frequently used by science fiction writers when dealing with structures built in space. All life in space will be inside, and the term is usually a shortened way of saying cubic feet or meters, where the specific volume enclosed is not needed.
- Faster Than Light - There are a few known things that go faster than light, but this term generally refers to ships or communications both of which are not possible with current technology, nor (given our current understanding of physics) will it ever be possible.
- Hyper-Text Markup Language
- This web site is written in HTML. This allows a HTML 'reader' (program) to access the file and display the information contained in that file. We have endeavored to make our web site work with most graphical readers, and have tested it with Netscape, Mosaic and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- Nauvik is our CELSS project. It will be used to develop the technology needed to build viable colonies in space, without the need to import food, air or water. We refer to the entire project as the Nauvik project, and it will culminate in the Nauvik structure as a completely closed CELSS test-bed. A better description of the structure is
- Visqueen is a plastic sheeting material, that is made from polypropylene. It usually comes in clear (really an opaque) or black.