Space Waste Lab draws attention to waste in space

Dutch design studio Studio Roosegaarde announced their new large-scale project, Space Waste Lab, which investigates how to upcycle space waste into sustainable products. The Space Waste Lab Performance visualises the space waste above our heads in real-time.

Currently, there are more than 29.000 pieces of space waste larger than 10 centimetres floating around earth. Space waste consists of parts of broken rockets and satellites and other things left behind after space exploration. These pieces can damage satellites.

Up till now, no one could not or would not do anything about it, which is why the Space Waste Lab was instated. The lab is supported by experts such as ESA (European Space Agency), students, visitors and the team of Studio Roosegaarde.

The plan is two-fold. Phase one, the Space Waste Lab Performance, starts with a large outdoor installation that uses especially designed software and camera technology for real-time tracking information. Using LEDs, this information visualises space waste above your head on an altitude of 200 to 20.000 kilometres.

Phase two is a multi-year programme to capture space waste and upcycle it into sustainable products.

Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde, says, “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.”

Studio Roosegaarde is known for its dedication to “schoonheid”, a Dutch word meaning both beauty and cleanness. Earlier projects include the Smog Free Project, which filters smog from the air, and Icoon Afsluitdijk, which plays with light on the Afsluitdijk, the largest dike in the Netherlands.

Space Waste Lab can be visited from 5 October 2018 to 19 January 2019 at Kustlinie KAF in Almere, the Netherlands. The live Space Waste Lab Performance can be visited after sunset on 5 and 6 October, 9 and 10 November, 7 and 8 December and 18 and 19 January 2019.

Photos: Studio Roosegaarde