British-born Jane Poynter is a Biosphere 2 crewmember, author, TV host and company president.
Current business ventures
Poynter is currently President and Chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation, which develops technologies for extreme environments (like outer space and under water). While inside Biosphere 2, she co-founded the firm with fellow biospherian, Taber MacCallum, whom she later married and several aerospace engineers. For four consecutive years, the firm has been named on Inc 500’s list of fastest growing companies, and in 2009 the National Association for Female Executives awarded Jane its Entrepreneur of the Year award. Jane has had experiments in her patented self-sustaining habitats flown on the International Space Station, the Russian Mir Space Station, and the U.S. Space Shuttle.
Poynter is the developer of the crew and life-support systems for the Inspiration Mars free-return mission to Mars planned for launch in January 2018. The two person spaceflight mission was originally to be a private, nonprofit venture of 501 days duration which will allow a small human-carrying spacecraft to use the smallest possible amount of fuel to get it to Mars and back to Earth. However, this plan proved unworkable without significant funding and assistance from NASA.
The life support system is critical. "If anything goes wrong, the spacecraft should make its own way back to Earth — but with no possibility of any short-cuts home."
Poynter was one of eight people who agreed to live in a sealed artificial world for two years. Involved in Biosphere 2 from the start, she managed the design and operations of the farming section where the crew grew its food source.
Jane also worked with the World Bank on projects to mitigate global climate change and grow crops in drought-stricken Africa and Central America. She is President of Blue Marble Institute, a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to leadership in science, sustainability and exploration. She serves on the City of Tucson's Climate Change Committee. Her second book, Champions for Change: Athletes Making A World of Difference is now a middle school program.
She has appeared on television and radio shows, and has been interviewed for magazine and newspaper articles about Biosphere 2 and her work in space and the environment. She has been an invited speaker at events hosted by groups such as the United Nations Environment Programme, the US Environmental Protection Agency, TEDx, National Space Symposium, NASA, MIT, and Microsoft.
- Poynter, Jane (2006). The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1560257752.
- Poynter, Jane (2009). Champions for Change : Athletes Making a World of Difference. Global Sports Alliance USA. ISBN 978-0615304793.
- "US private sector hopes to send older couple to Mars". BBC News. 27 February 2013.
- Paragon Space Development (2011 Inc. 5000, ranking #3631)
- "Jane Poynter, Entrepreneur of the Year". Nafe.com. Retrieved 25 Oct 2012.
- United States Patent 5,865,141 Autonomous Biological System (ABS)
- Kaufman, Marc (27 February 2013). "Manned Mars Mission Announced by Dennis Tito Group". National Geographic News. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Belfiore, Michael (27 February 2013). "The Crazy Plan to Fly Two Humans to Mars in 2018". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Morring, Frank, Jr. (2013-03-04). "Serious Intent About 2018 Human Mars Mission". Aviation Week and Space Technology. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- Connor, Steve (26 February 2013). "The millionaire Dennis Tito and his mission to Mars". The Independent (London). Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Climate Change Committee". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- "Champions for Change". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- NASA Fact Sheet on Paragon ABS
- Science Illustrated Interview on Biosphere 2
- Discover Magazine on Biosphere 2
- Jane Poynter Official website
- Paragon Space Development Corporation website
- Biosphere 2 website
- Jane talks at the 2009 TEDx Conference
- Inspiration Mars: 29th National Space Symposium, Jane Poynter's life support and human factors talk starts at 25:30; Colorado Springs, Colorado, 11 April 2013.