Our Space Biohack weekend was a great success, as participants worked with the High Altitude Bioprospecting (HAB) science-art team to plan the next phase of HAB’s mission. The workshops covered hands-on making with 3D printers, robotics, rocket science and DNA analysis and participants learnt how to sample for bacteria and other living organisms.
On Friday evening gallery visitors were able to witness a live ‘robot autopsy’ facilitated by internationally acclaimed performance artist Kira O’Reilly and conducted by members of the HAB team. As the intense and laborious process of dismantling the crushed robot got underway, it became clear that some bacteria samples may have been preserved in the ruined carcass. Swabs were taken and as we write are being cultivated in petri dishes currently on display in the gallery.
On Saturday morning The entire HAB team came together for a discussion and Q and A session followed by talks by Dr Varsha Jain on gender preconceptions, female astronauts & space gynaecology. This was followed by a talk from Philipp Boeing about BentoLab, a portable DNA sampler. Finally, Dr Lynn Rothschild (NASA Ames) joined us via Skype (having recently broken her foot, she was unable to join us in person) for a talk about ballooning and astrobiology.
Ingenious and Fearless Companions continues at BOM until 11th of June, so there is still time to come and see the fascinating work created by the HAB team and to view the autopsied robot in it’s new ‘exploded’ incarnation in the gallery.