Date of release: Friday, May 2, 2014

Project PersephoneAn idea for a space-age Noah’s Ark designed to save Earth’s population from global catastrophe has captured the media’s attention this week.

Dr Rachel Armstrong, a researcher at the university’s Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research Laboratory in the Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities, is the lead researcher on Project Persephone.

Rachel’s work looks at how a “living worldship” on a long-term manned mission out of the solar system would need to be self-sustainable.

“Project Persephone is the living interior of a worldship,” she explains. “We’re not trying to just take stuff from Earth and put it in a giant pot, it’s about how do we design an environment within a closed system. So, could we grow an ecosystem from scratch?”

The story appeared in Monday’s Times before Rachel was interviewed live on BBC World Service World Business Report (18 minutes 30 seconds in). It was later picked up by the Daily Mail and a number of websites both in the UK and abroad.

“I got what I thought was a speculative call from The Times at the weekend,” Rachel adds. “I found out later from one of the other interviewees that the article had been published and it went from there.”

Project Persephone is a study for Icarus Interstellar - a non-profit organisation aiming to enable human interstellar spaceflight through their One Hundred Year Starship Project.

Story by Public Relations