Why should big government agencies get all the fun? Explore space through music and the arts with us!
What are we doing?
We want to help you explore space through music. We're going to launch a small satellite that will turn information about its motion, the Earth's cloud cover and sunlight, and the dramatic temperatures in orbit into data to be sent back to the ground. Here we'll turn that data into sounds that you can turn into music to share with your friends, and we'll let artists, educators, musicians and researchers use our data to create anything they like.
Why are we doing this?
Space is too important to be explored by just governments. Because of competitions like the Xprize, for the first time, space can be explored by average people like us. For us to have intelligent dialogue about this critical part of our world, we need to understand it for ourselves. Sound, music and art are incredibly rich tools for comprehending information, and a craft circling the earth can generate data that tools like rhythm, harmony, and melody are perfect for interpreting.
Why should you care?
Whether it's the home of the satellites that provide critical information on our climate and resources or a magnetic shield from particles flung from massive solar storms, the space environment matters to humanity. An incredible amount of modern life passes between satellites orbiting the Earth and people and our systems on the ground. We may even be polluting space in some unknown way with our wireless "noise". Space is incredibly important to us, yet most of us know very little about what happens around our planet.
We think music can be a tool for understanding space. Through repeating rhythms, we'll be able to imagine the tumbling and spinning of our little spacecraft. Through long rising or falling chords, we'll be able to relate to the dramatic changes in temperature as the satellite goes in and out of sunlight. Music will let us feel space, and this project will let you be part of the experience.
How will we use your money?
Your money will be used to purchase hardware, buy a launch slot on Interorbital Systems' Tubesat platform, fund artists, inventors, programmers and educators who will use our data to create their own space exploration content, pay for our website and hosting, Kickstarter fees, and reward our staff, fellows, interns and volunteers for the hundreds of hours they've invested making this happen.
Who is involved in this?
We have a broad base of support, including a hackerspace, an amateur radio partner, a space education center, arts organizations, musicians, software developers, and educators. Especially if you're in St. Louis, we'd love to find a way to have our satellite connect your work with other interesting people.
After we pay for our launch and deliver our hardware, Interorbital Systems will put us into the launch queue. Depending on the number of projects in the queue at that time, we'll hopefully launch sometime late in early 2012.
We'll be soliciting proposals for $500 commissions to do something with the data we collect. If you'd like to be notified when we start accepting these proposals, email dan at openlydisruptive dot org.
This is a grassroots project based in St. Louis. Arch Reactor, our local hackerspace, is designing and building the hardware since that's what they like to do. Zombie Squad, a volunteer group that prepares for an invasion of the undead by doing disaster preparedness training is helping with our communication network. Frustrated web developers and designers are helping with our project website and data interface. If you and your group want to get hands-on with the project, drop us a line at dan at openlydisruptive dot org.
Interorbital Systems of Mojave, CA is the provider of our TubeSat launch platform. They have a vision of enabling personal space exploration with their low cost, low frills launch program. They'll be launching our satellite from their new spaceport in Tonga, in the Pacific Ocean.
Far from it. Everything we send up (and the launch vehicle that takes it up) will burn up in the upper atmosphere within a few months, below the orbits of the International Space Station and commercial and government satellites. In addition, we'll also be monitoring human encroachment into space because our satellite will also measure some of the radio signals (all those iPhones and WiFi hotspots are leaking energy somewhere) we humans are leaking into space.
The human ear and brain are capable of discerning amazing detail and context from sound, while music is a universal way for people to express meaning. With the repeating and evolving data that our satellite will generate as it circles Earth, music is a natural way to explore it. Search "sonification" online, there's an enormous amount of work using sound and music to make sense of particle physics, solar phenomena, and much more.
Working with Arch Reactor and some friendly faculty from St. Louis University and Washington University, our focus is on measuring light levels from multiple parts of the satellite. This will allow us to create a 3D sound as it spins and tumbles going around the Earth, into and out of sunlight and the light reflected off of cloud cover. In addition, we think temperature fluctuations and interference with our transceiver will be interesting data once compressed into sounds. In addition, we might put a physical microphone on the satellite to see if we get any sounds of collisions with micro-meteorites.
Good point, after all, "in space, no one can hear you scream." A days' worth of the data we collect will look like a really long graph of peaks and valleys. It wouldn't sound like much of anything necessarily. If you compress the peaks and valleys of a day into a much shorter duration, however, eventually those peaks and valleys will be occurring between 20 and 20,000 times a second, which are the frequencies of human hearing. Through this process, we'll transpose data into sounds that can be heard.
Check out Interorbital's TubeSat page for more details, but basically, we'll be at about 190 miles up, circling over both poles in a nearly circular orbit.
No. NASA astronauts have taken instruments with them on long missions to the International Space Station. Sandy Antunes funded part of Project Calliope here on Kickstarter; his project is using the same TubeSat launch platform to create ionosphere-generated music tracks. What makes Sampling Space different is the combination of space science, the arts, community participation and interaction with space data. It's designed, funded, built, operated and used by people like you for people like you.
Space exploration may be getting cheaper, but it's still pretty risky stuff. Lots of things can go wrong from explosions on the launch pad to satellites that never turn on in space. Our mission could end in spectacular failure or in a whimper. That's what space exploration is like. We'll document the project, test our systems in fun ways that we'll share with you, and in general make sure that no matter what happens, we all feel like we've learned a lot about ourselves, our planet, and our space environment.
seconds to go
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Every NASA or Roscosmos space mission gets a commemorative mission patch. For $10, you'll receive a 3" full color embroidered Sampling Space mission patch designed by Jennifer Stolzer of St. Louis. You'll also get regular email updates on the progress of our team and the work we're sponsoring. This exclusive design will only be issued to our backers and the team. Why not pledge multiple times for your friends and family members?
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Are you a "been there, got the t-shirt" kind of person? Or do you just like sporting menacing robots on your clothes? At this level, you'll also receive a handsome Orbital Tour 2011 honorary crew t-shirt. Based on Jennifer Stolzer's winning design, this t-shirt will only be offered to our volunteer crew and backers at the $25 level and up.
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Always want to hold a space object in your hand? Unfortunately, our satellite will burn up on re-entry, but you and a friend can be one of the few people to hold the satellite before it goes up. In addition to the above rewards, you'll also get a photo of you and a friend with the satellite, gratefully signed by the Sampling Space team.
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)
Like to feel like the party revolves around you? At this level, your name (and a link to your website if you like) will go onto the interactive portion of the Sampling Space website, where people around the world will be able to download our data and share the work they make with it with the world. We'll also invite you and three friends to our launch party, where we'll celebrate a successful launch and have musicians and artists (and yourself if you'd like) on hand to interact with our space data for the first time.
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)
Always wanted to go into space, but aren't a boy band member with millions to burn? At this level, you get all of the above rewards PLUS your name (or a very brief message) will get incorporated into the satellite hardware. Your name will orbit the earth!
- (60 days)