New project to apply sustainable space technologies on Earth

International Space Station National Laboratory has collaborated with the World Design Organisation and experts from the University of Greenwich, UK, to apply sustainable space technologies on Earth.

The International Space Station National Laboratory (ISS) enables space research and development access to a broad range of commercial, academic, and government users. The new research project aims to adapt sustainable space technologies, for water conservation and energy management, to be used on Earth.

Dr Anastasios Maragiannis, Associate Professor in Inclusive Design and Deputy Head of School of Design, is leading the project, named ‘Design in Space for life on Earth to Reimagine our Future in Space’, with the ISS.

Working in collaboration with the World Design Organisation, Maragiannis is heading a team of 12 experts looking at ways to develop techniques begun by NASA on the ISS. He was selected as one of the five team leaders from across the globe to lead the Design Research Challenge Statement: How can space-based research address the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Maragiannis said: “The projects are looking at making the planet more sustainable, along the lines of health, energy, water, consumption and communities. Because the projects have begun on the ISS, we have to find or create similar conditions on Earth to continue working on them.

“We are looking to make these projects inclusive so they can help more people, across such factors as age, marginalised groups, cultural background and gender. We are looking to reach not only individuals but also societies and charities through co-design and design thinking processes.”

Over 70 participants from 26 countries are taking part in the sustainable space technologies project. Upon completion of this workshop, and based on the outcomes, the World Design Organisation intends to develop spaceflight projects that may fly to the orbiting laboratory under the sponsorship of the ISS National Lab.

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