E|A|S (Evolving Asteroid Starship)

A project by DSTART


DSTART is a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, architects and artists developing next-generation concepts for interstellar exploration. The initiative was founded in 2016 at the TU Delft by artist and scientist Angelo Vermeulen. DSTART aims to critically explore ideologies underpinning space exploration paradigms and offers alternative concepts. DSTART is one of the projects housed under the umbrella of SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design). This collective is responsible for internationally acclaimed art-science projects such as Seeker and Biomodd.




For the GOGBOT festival, DSTART introduces an immersive installation which gives the visitor an unique view into the E|A|S (Evolving Asteroid Starship) research project. E|A|S uses a biomimetic approach to design starships which are capable of traveling for multiple decades through vast areas of deep space. In contradiction with the solar system exploration, interstellar exploration is characterised by a considerable higher degree of uncertainty. A starship is continuously charting previously unknown interstellar territory and may encounter a wide range of unanticipated challenges. The spacecraft needs to be able to respond adequately to adjust itself to new conditions. Using biology as an inspiration, E|A|S suggests creating starships that grow and evolve during their journey. Technically this could be achieved by combining asteroid mining and 3D printing. The DSTART team has been developing a hybrid computer simulation to test this idea. A virtual starship contains a slowly expanding internal ecosystem, based on ESA’s MELiSSA biological life support system. The architectural evolution of the virtual starship is driven both by the population dynamics of this ecosystem and the fluctuating challenges posed by the interstellar medium.


The installation at GOGBOT will contain contributions of different team members of DSTART. At the heart of the installation is a cluster computer (or so-called Beowulf cluster) conceived by Andreas Theys and Angelo Vermeulen. This cluster computer, which is built out of open source hardware, will be running E|A|S simulations during the exhibition.