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Scientists building ‘space ark’ to save humanity

Scientists are developing a self-sustaining spaceship that can carry humans

Daedalus Blueprints by Nathan Fowkes Daedalus Blueprints by Nathan Fowkes

Scientists are developing an interstellar Noah’s Ark – a self-sustaining spaceship that can carry humans on a one-way mission to find a new world to inhabit in the event of climate change or nuclear or biological warfare.

Rachel Armstrong, a senior architecture and design lecturer at the University of Greenwich, is leading the project, with 13 designers, six of whom are based in the UK and rest from US, Italy and the Netherlands. Researchers in Project Persephone, investigating new bio-technologies that could one day help to create a self-sustaining spacecraft to carry people beyond our solar system.

The spaceship would incorporate into its structure organic matter such as algae and artificial soil, using the Sun’s energy to produce biofuel and a sustainable source of food, ‘The Times’ reported. It would need to keep a few thousand people alive for generations on a spaceship to find a new world to inhabit, researchers said.

Scientists are “considering the application of living technologies such as protocells, programmable smart chemistry, in the context of habitable starship architecture that can respond and evolve according to the needs of its inhabitants.”Armstrong’s research focuses on bio-engineering, developing artificial soil and droplets of water that can be programmed to carry key elements.

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The team’s sociologist, Steve Fuller, questioned: “We need nature to survive, so how do we take nature with us?”.  Researchers hope the project’s principal use will be to teach us more about building sustainable cities on Earth.

First published on: 28-04-2014 at 05:10:19 pm
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