Feeds

Innovative solution to modern art found: Shoot it into space

Meteorite-riddled Earthlings to finally return fire at the universe

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

A new approach to endpoint data protection

The European Space Agency says it is seriously considering a plan which involves firing a piece of modern art made from a melted-down meteorite back into space.

The piece of modern art in question is titled "Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky". It is to be exhibited this summer at the Turner Contemporary gallery in the Kent seaside town of Margate, famed as a destination for those of advanced artistic tastes. The exhibit was produced by taking a meteorite, making a mould of its shape, then melting the multibillion-year-old space rock down and pouring it into the mould to create a replica of itself, made of itself.

“The iron, metal and dust inside have been reformed, and the layers of its cosmic lifespan – the intermixing of space and time, the billions of years of pressure and change – have become collapsed, transformed and then, by the hand of human technology, renewed,” explains artist Katie Paterson, the brains behind this idea.

Paterson has a lot of previous form in this area, having previously produced various other items along similar lines: for instance recording the sounds of an Icelandic volcano under the surface of a meltwater lake on discs made of refrozen ice from the same source, or her ongoing collection of completely black slides made by photographing dark bits of sky.

Once Campo del Cielo has had its run in front of an amazed public in Margate, Paterson plans to have it - or part of it - shot into space courtesy of the ESA. The space agency says it is seriously considering sending some or all of the melted meteorite lump up on on the next Automated Transfer Vehicle supply podule, Georges Lemaître, due to head up to the International Space Station in 2014.

According to a recent ESA statement:

A small sample of the meteorite will be carefully assessed for flight qualification, and if it passes, can be delivered ‘back to space’ to the Station.

“I hope this helps inspire people everywhere to think about the really big questions: the origin of life, the natural history of our Solar System and home planet, and our relationship with time, both geological and cosmic,” says Dr Detlef Koschny, a top ESA asteroid boffin, in accompanying tinned quotes.

“These are important questions, and space exploration together with art are helping us answer them.”

It's perhaps worth noting that merely transporting the art to the ISS will not really be a case of shooting it back into space permanently as it will remain in low Earth orbit. Left to itself would fall back into the atmosphere again relatively soon (as would the ISS itself, without regular shoves back up to speed from attached ATVs and other spacecraft). Unless the astro-lump should get an onward boost somehow, it will come back to Earth one way or another - either as part of a routine garbage dump aboard an ATV or Progress robo-podule jettisoned into the atmosphere, with the descending ISS itself whenever the world's governments tire of paying for it, or (just possibly) intact, aboard a returning manned 'naut podule such as a Soyuz or future SpaceX Dragon.

A vid from Paterson explaining the process leading to the astro-blob art is below. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?