Food for Mars | Lecture and panel discussion

Do we need to colonize space to survive as a species?


What do you think life on Mars will be like for the first intrepid pioneers? In this lecture we will critically explore humanity’s dreams and aspirations. Why do we want to colonize the solar system? What kind of world, designed entirely by humans, will we build? What sort of challenges will we face, technologically, socially, and psychologically? Will we be able to prevent a repetition of our mistakes here on Earth? And is there any urgency: “If we want to survive as a species –and want to save human civilization- do we HAVE to colonize space”?

Wieger Wamelink, exobiologist at Wageningen University, has kindly allowed us to exhibit his research on cultivating plants for sustenance on Mars. The soil, the temperature, the light, the atmosphere, the radiation, the lack of liquid water, everything is different on the red planet. After opening the exhibit, Wieger will give a lecture on his research and its context. How do we build a livable ecosystem in space? And where? After his lecture, Wieger will be joined by a panel of students to discuss humanity’s drive to colonize space, a dream that may very well come true within their lifetime.

Announcement NASA June 7th 2018

Food For Mars: Do we need to colonise space to survive as a species? | Wieger Wamelink

The Afterlife of Satellites | Exhibition

From Space Debris to Space Heritage


Opening exhibition: 5 June 12:40-14:00

Much of the public reporting about space debris highlights the dangers of potential collisions between objects in space and satellites re-entering the atmosphere. This was the case for Tiangong-1, China’s first prototype space station, which re-entered the atmosphere at the beginning of April and crashed in the southern Pacific Ocean, thereby removing public fear of a crash in a populated area. Other defunct satellites are still in orbit and could cause major disasters in outer space by colliding with other objects.

Some of this dangerous waste could, however, also be appreciated as historical artifacts, conveying a story about early space exploration and its impact on human society and technological change. Moreover, the study of space debris can provide more information about the structure of the earth’s atmosphere.

In this exhibition, six scale models of satellites from TU Delft Library’s Special Collections are on display. The original satellites were all developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and one of its predecessors, the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) in the 1970s. What were the original missions of these satellites and what happened to them after they fell into decay?

Also on display are models of ESA’s Spacelab, a reusable laboratory for the Space Shuttle, and Delfi-n3Xt, a small satellite developed by the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. Large-scale satellite models of SMART-1 and Envisat have been put on display elsewhere in the central hall.

View photos from the exhibition on Flickr

My presence at the program 'The afterlife of satellites: past, present, future' has inspired and surprised me. The linking of multiple perspectives offers added value that I can also apply in my own field.

Michel van Pelt, Concurrent Design Team Leader e.Deorbit Mission, ESA

The Afterlife of Satelites | Discussion

Past, Present, Future

06 JUNE 2018 19:30-21:00 - ORANGE ROOM, TU DELFT LIBRARY

Satellites are vital to the functioning of our modern world. They provide mass communications, GPS and track the earth’s climate and agriculture. Since the launch of Sputnik, the first satellite ever, in 1957, thousands of satellites are orbiting the earth. In their afterlife however, inactive satellites can turn into space debris. Currently there is an ever increasing flow of space debris orbiting the earth which can become a huge problem. As of now, the Kessler Syndrome is a real possibility. In this scenario a chain reaction of collisions is exponentially increasing the amount of debris leading to dangerous clouds of space debris which have the potential to destroy everything in their wake, such as satellites, space stations and astronauts. The likelihood of it happening is increasing and solutions now and in the future need to be found. 

In this discussion different experts will highlight their vision and perspective on dealing with space debris now and in the future. Michel van Pelt of the European Space Agency will present the e.Deorbit mission which aims to remove debris from space. Tanja Masson-Zwaan of Leiden University will highlight the role of space law in regulating and safeguarding space. Eelco Doornbos of TU Delft will explain how space debris can be used as an object for scientific research, to learn about the structure of the earth’s atmosphere. Chris Kievid of Studio Roosegaarde presents the first sketches of their ongoing project on space debris.

The Afterlife of Satellites: past, present, future

Historical views of Mars | Exhibition

From Christian Huygens to Chriet Titulaer


In the beginning of astronomy  mythological elements played a large role in the depiction of sky objects. The focus was mostly on the moon and the sun. Gradually this focus shifted to other sky objects such as Mars. 

Christiaan Huygens discovered Mars in 1659 with his handmade telescope. He made the first drawing of Mars. Mars stands out for its red colour. That’s why this planet  was named after the Roman god of war Mars. The famous French astronomer Flammarion said about Mars in 1880:  “Her light is reddish and gives the impression of fire"...  “The burning star of Mars presided over combats; on the field of battle of Marathon or in the dark pass of Thermopylae, the imprecations of the victims accused it of barbarity, while the fact is that man has no enemy but himself, and the innocent planet soars in space without suspecting the influences of which it is accused”. These depictions of Mars show the heritage of astronomy as a social science.

Since Huygens, Mars has always been an object of fascination. Chriet Titulaer (a Dutch astronomer, television presenter and popular science and technology writer) stated in 1992: "I believe that there will be a manned Mars landing before 2020, but that the first step on that planet will be set  by a Japanese".

Folded Space (Origami) | Workshop


Origami, the art of paper-folding is developing to an amazing technique used in art, design and technology. It is applied on a nanoscale in bioscience as well as on a large scale in aerospace to transport a small folded package. Take for instance the Nasa solar array designed by origami expert Robert Lang and the design of the Starshade by Robert Salazar. Both can be smartly unfolded at the destination in space. Robert Salazar also designed an 'Origami Deployable Martian Architecture’. 

In this hands-on workshop you will learn about the design principles of folding-patterns focused on a smart unfolding process. 

Carla Feijen, visual artist and designer, studied many years the geometry of folding-techniques in her project ‘Folded Space’.

Mars 2030 | VR Experience


Suit up for the first manned mission to Mars! MARS 2030 is a virtual reality simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the mysterious red planet like never before.  

MARS 2030 centers on open world exploration. Taking on the role of an astronaut, players traverse Mars and collect geological samples that uncover the planet’s past. Make discoveries across 40 square kilometers of open Martian terrain, accurately-mapped and -modeled using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE satellite data. Along this journey, players discover a world rich in history that, much like our own planet, once looked very different from what exists today.

International Festival of Technology 2018 - Aftermovie

A Taste of Open Science | Experience

How can we as citizens contribute to science?

06 JUNE-8 JUNE 2018 12:00-22:00 & 12:00-15:00 (08 JUNE) LOCATION: AULA

To give you a taste of Open Science, TU Delft Library will showcase some of the openly available TU Delft research in the areas of circular economy, robotics and quantum. Stop by and join our discussion on how we as citizens can get access to all new findings and benefit from this knowledge. Participate in our interactive quiz and get answers to your questions!


The Library inspires you to get a taste of Open Science, bio-inspired and bio-based materials and internationally acclaimed architecture and art during this year’s International Festival of Technology.

Wilma van Wezenbeek, Director TU Delft Library

Campus Walk Guided by Paul Kurstjens and Marion Vredeling | Tour


Costs: EUR 5

TU Delft campus has significant buildings internationally acclaimed by architects and has much artwork by well-known artists. During the Campus Walk we want to make you enthusiastic for this inheritance and the stories that are connected to it, based on the brand new guide 'Campus-lopen' (available at by Paul Kurstjens, who will be your guide during the Campus Walk. He designed routes on various university campuses in the Netherlands –from Groningen to Tilburg , and from Wageningen to Delft- focusing on the historical-spatial growth of the universities. Your second guide will be Marion Vredeling, the university's resident art enthusiast, and knows much about all the art on campus.

So join the Campus Walk and get to everything about history and art of the TU Delft campus! The Campus Walk will take place on Wednesday 6 June. The tour takes about 3 hours and starts at 12 pm at Oostpoort 1, Delft. Afterwards there will be time to visit the International Festival of Technology and you will get the chance to buy the 'Campus-walk' guide for a reduced price of 10 euros (normally 14,95 euros)*.

Participation in the tour costs 5 euros per person (max. 20 persons) and advance booking is required. Important note: the tour will be in Dutch only. Interested? Keep an eye on the event, soon there will be more information about where to buy your ticket.


*This Campus Walk is mentioned in a national walking guide about the Dutch campuses:
Wandelen naar de campus by Paul Kurstjens (ISBN: 9789078641667)
Costs: EUR 14,95 (10 euro discount for campus walk participants)

For sale at the IFOT-shop, the TU Delft Library or online.
Download the Campus Walk GPS-tracks

Articles about the Art Walk:

Evening Tour | Tour

Discover the secrets of the TU Delft Campus


Costs: EUR 5

The TU Delft consists of over 40 buildings, which each house unique projects and research. Have you always wondered what happens behind these doors? Than this is your chance! The Evening Tour gives you the unique opportunity to visit places that are normally not open for visitors. And there is more. During this tour the locations will be combined with interesting art projects that are connected to the festival's themes Quantum, Circular Economy and Robotics. Overall it will be a unique experience that is especially organized for this year's festival.


More about this program

Regio TV aan Tafel met Philip Stein (vanaf 9:10)

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