You can track Satellite 0c66 (NORAD ID 40956) here! It’s currently over Turkey!
This is a song (with chords & lyrics) about the Doves of Planet Labs – small satellites that are ferried to the ISS and released into low-earth orbit, to circle the Earth sixteen times a day, powered by solar-panel wings. They will eventually image the Earth once per day, enough observe changes in the environment and the movement of large object clusters – down to 3 square meters.
Each flock stays up for a while, then burns up on re-entry, leaving no trace.
In 2014, along with other Pier 9 artists in residence, I submitted a side panel design to ride on a spacefaring little Dove. I was across the globe in London, and worked up a demo on the guitar, then created a simple new rotary musical notation – “iris notation”. Eventually, seven of our designs were selected, to continue the space gallery program that Forest Stearns founded at Planet.
“Spinning Up” includes a slightly modified quotation from Yuri Gagarin:
“Облетев Землю, увидел, как прекрасна наша планета. Будем хранить ету красоту, и приумножать её!”
– Orbiting the earth, I saw how beautiful our planet is. Let us preserve that beauty, and foster it!
The iris notation is inspired by:
the iris of a camera or a human eye
the layers of our planet (I rotated it 23.4º to match the Earth’s axial tilt)
the Voyager golden record
tiny planets, moons, other satellites, and rings in a minuscule astronomical system
crop circles (the ”aliens” and “home/family“ associations are both strong for me)
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.