Cool write up of a project from Alex Glow.
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)
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