According to Rachel Armstrong, professor of experiment architecture at Newcastle University, our current approach to space exploration is industrial. The focus is primarily on breaking down frontiers and consuming resources.
But, she asks, what if we made space our home?
At BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit, Armstrong proposes taking a more ecological approach to space exploration. By focusing on designing spacecrafts as living ecosystems, we could bring life to space.
Armstrong’s vision calls to mind Biosphere 2, a closed systems experiment that took place in Arizona in the early 90s that modeled the Earth’s biomes on a scale second only to Earth itself. Although the Biosphere 2 was eventually shut down, its visionary ambition serves as a predecessor to Armstrong’s proposal. Today, Biosphere 2 is a research facility that serves as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe.
Click here to watch the video of Armstrong’s response at the summit.