Biosphere 2 to allow visitors in for nighttime driving tours

August 6, 2020 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Biosphere 2 complex in southern Arizona will reopen for tourists but only if they are in their cars.

The University of Arizona announced Biosphere 2 will allow self-guided, nighttime driving tours beginning Friday. Visitors will use a mobile app to help them navigate the marked route.

Guided tours inside the facility were suspended once the coronavirus pandemic hit Arizona.

Deputy Director John Adams says the driving tour will be offered for the next two months. It is part of the living laboratory’s plan to reopen to the public in phases. But plans are evolving as the situation does.

The driving tour takes between 20 and 25 minutes. The cost of admission will be $20 per vehicle with up to six occupants. A discount code, “LIGHTS,” will offer $5 off for a limited time.

Researchers from around the world come to the glass terrarium in the Sonoran Desert about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Tucson. They can study everything from the effects of the ocean’s acidification on coral to ways of ensuring food security.