SPACE WASTE LAB
We are on a mission for clean space. Right now there are more than 29.000 objects larger than 10 centimeters floating around the earth. It is space waste; parts of broken rockets and satellites. This waste can damage our current satellites, with collisions creating more space waste and disturbing our digital communications. And nobody really knows how to fix it.
SPACE WASTE LAB is the multi-year living lab with the European Space Agency and Studio Roosegaarde to visualise, capture, and upcycle space waste into sustainable products. The current SPACE WASTE LAB PERFORMANCE visualises the space waste above your head real-time with large beams of light. SPACE WASTE LAB is exhibited in the Netherlands and Italy to raise awareness about space waste, and wonder about new solutions. One of the solutions is creating Shooting Stars from captured space waste.
Winner of World OMOSIROI Award in Japan.
SPACE WASTE LAB is the living lab of space experts at ESA (the European Space Agency) and the team of Studio Roosegaarde to give new perspectives on the current 8.1 million kilo of space waste. The project is accompanied by an education programme with more than 2000 students participating.
SPACE WASTE LAB PERFORMANCE is a unique large-scale outdoor artwork of LEDs and real-time tracking information to visualise space waste above your head on an altitude of 200 to 20.000 kilometers. A real piece of space waste is part of the outside exhibition. Special designed software and camera technology developed in the last year enables the SPACE WASTE LAB PERFORMANCE to be exhibited international, in compliance with strict safety and aviation regulations.
SPACE WASTE LAB has a focus on upcyling space waste such as creating Shooting Stars from space waste, 3D-printing of moon habitats, and a gigantic sun reflector to reduce climate change.
Daan Roosegaarde: “We need to look at space in a better way. What is space waste, how can we fix it, and what is its potential? Space waste is the smog of our universe.”
ESA Director Franco Ongaro about SPACE WASTE LAB: “I’m a strong believer in cooperation between technologists and artists. We believe in what we do as a service to society, but we are often unable to communicate its worth effectively enough. Artists not only communicate vision and feelings to the public, but help us discover aspects of our work which we are often unable to perceive. This cooperation is all the more important when dealing with issues like space debris, which may one day impact our future, and our ability to draw maximum benefits from space. We need to speak in different ways, to convey not just the dry technological aspects aspect of technology, but the emotions involved in the struggle to preserve this environment for future generations.”
SPACE WASTE LAB is a part of Roosegaarde’s larger vision for Schoonheid, a Dutch word meaning both beauty and cleanliness, as in clean space, clean air, clean water, clean energy. Schoonheid is an activator for change, for citizens, makers, NGOs and governments to value and empower Schoonheid as a creative force to make clean environments.
Watch the VPRO Tegenlicht documentary (international version) or in Dutch about SPACE WASTE LAB.
Want to support the project? Make a donation to our foundation Stichting Roosegaarde at NL05 INGB 0006 5678 97, SWIFT code INGBNL2A.
We are pioneers for the liveability of our future landscapes. Clean air, clean water, clean energy, and now clean space are our new values. As social design lab, Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers connect people and technology in artworks that improve daily life in urban environments and spark imagination.
Internationally acclaimed works include WATERLICHT (a virtual flood showing the power of water), SMOG FREE PROJECT (the world’s first largest outdoor air purifier which turns smog into jewellery), SMART HIGHWAY (roads that charge throughout the day and glow at night) and the SPACE WASTE LAB (visualising and upcycling space waste).
Roosegaarde’s mantra ‘Schoonheid’ is a Dutch word with two meanings: ‘beauty’, that comes from creativity; and ‘clean’, that comes from clean air and clean energy. For Roosegaarde this should be a fundamental condition in daily life.
In his recent published Phaidon book Daan Roosegaarde says: “People won’t change because of facts or numbers. But if we can trigger the imagination of a new world, that’s the way to activate people. I don’t believe in utopia, but in protopia; step by step upgrading the world around us. Art is our activator.”
Studio Roosegaarde is located in a former glass factory in the harbour of Rotterdam NL, also known as the Dream Factory. Here new innovations are developed from concept into artistic installations. The Studio has a vast experience in public space commissions in cities such as Rotterdam, Beijing, Paris, Eindhoven and Stockholm. Our Studio also initiates its own projects to research new social innovations in collaboration with universities or partnerships with NASA and BMW, and has a pop-up studio in Shanghai, China.
Roosegaarde has exhibited at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Design Museum in London, Tate Modern, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Google Zeitgeist and the Victoria & Albert Museum, and won numerous international innovation awards such as the Shenzhen Global Design Award.
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is launching a large-scale project to solve the “problem with no solution” of waste and debris floating around in outer space.
Roosegaarde’s Space Waste Lab will use live installations and collaborative workshops to explore the various ways that floating space junk could be upcycled into useful and sustainable products.
According to Roosegaarde, there are currently more than 29,000 detectable objects larger than 10 centimetres floating around the earth. This space waste consists of waste parts and debris from rockets and satellites.
Space waste could be a source of creativity
The Smog Free Tower designer believes that the design world can suggest new ways of looking at the unsolved issue of space waste that scientists are currently facing, perhaps by turning it into artificial falling stars or 3D-printed houses on the moon.
He hopes that the project will encourage people to view space waste not merely as a threat, but also as a potential source for new creativity.
“What is interesting is that it seems to be a problem with no solution,” Roosegaarde told Dezeen. “Space X, NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) – everybody in the space industry knows about it, but no solutions have been proven yet.”
“I think design can add a new perspective,” he continued. “Maybe it’s not waste, maybe it’s an ingredient for something special.”
Beams of light will be used to point out space waste
Officially launching on 5 October 2018 in Almere, a city in the Netherlands, the Space Waste Lab will be structured in two phases.
Phase one will see the studio present a large-scale light installation used to visualise and bring attention to the presence of space waste above our heads.
Huge beams of light will be projected into the sky to a distance of 125 to 136,000 miles to track specific pieces of space waste.
“You really see that at that moment there is an actual piece of space junk above your head,” said Roosegaarde. “And that’s pretty intense, when you realise ‘Wow it’s out there’.”