FLICKR USER studioforcreativeinquiry
FLICKR USER studioforcreativeinquiry

Send Your Art to the Moon

FLICKR USER studioforcreativeinquiry
FLICKR USER studioforcreativeinquiry

In 1977, a team headed by Carl Sagan sent two golden records representing the sounds of planet Earth out into space. Now, another team is sending art into the cosmos in an even more ambitious project—and you can help.

Moon Drawings is a project created as part of the Moon Arts Group, an initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. Through May 7, anyone can sketch a drawing on the group's website, and the drawings will then be etched into a 39mm sapphire disc as part of a sculpture called the Moon Arts Ark. Once it’s loaded into the sculpture, your drawing will be rocketed to the moon aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sometime in 2016. The Moon Arts Ark has four titanium chambers that will hold the two sapphire discs containing the artwork, along with sculptures, microcapsules containing evidence of life on Earth, and images on metal foil. 

Courtesy of Moon Arts Group

Your drawing might even be traced into the moon’s soil by a rover called Andy, whose mission is to investigate a pit in the Lacus Mortis region. Circumstantial factors like power levels, operational condition and ground safety will determine whether Andy will be able to execute the creative portion of its mission. Should things go according to plan though, these tracings could be seen by orbiting telescopes and, thanks to the lack of weather on the moon, could last for thousands of years. A jury will select the artists for this celestial honor. 

The first 10,000 contributors will earn a place on the sculpture and as of this writing, 4659 spots were still left. Creating a drawing is free, and submissions are limited to one drawing per IP address. The organizers reserve the right to ignore anything offensive, so keep it classy if you want your creativity to earn a ticket to outer space. Or as the website instructs, “The drawing you make here may travel further, and endure longer, than anything else you do in your lifetime. Please take a moment to reflect on what you might say or show to some future viewer: thousands of miles, and thousands of years, away.”

In other words, bring your A-game. An extraterrestrial might see it someday. 

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Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
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Space
Stephen Hawking’s Memorial Will Beam His Words Toward the Nearest Black Hole
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

An upcoming memorial for Stephen Hawking is going to be out of this world. The late physicist’s words, set to music, will be broadcast by satellite toward the nearest black hole during a June 15 service in the UK, the BBC reports.

During his lifetime, Hawking signed up to travel to space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship, but he died before he ever got the chance. (He passed away in March.) Hawking’s daughter Lucy told the BBC that the memorial's musical tribute is a “beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father's presence on this planet, his wish to go into space, and his explorations of the universe in his mind.” She described it as "a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet."

Titled “The Stephen Hawking Tribute,” the music was written by Greek composer Vangelis, who created the scores for Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire. It will play while Hawking’s ashes are interred at Westminster Abbey, near where Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin are buried, according to Cambridge News. After the service, the piece will be beamed into space from the European Space Agency’s Cebreros Station in Spain. The target is a black hole called 1A 0620-00, “which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star,” according to Lucy Hawking.

Hawking wasn't the first person to predict the existence of black holes (Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity accounted for them back in the early 1900s), but he spoke at length about them throughout his career and devised mathematical theorems that gave credence to their existence in the universe.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, a friend of the Hawking family who portrayed the late scientist in the BBC film Hawking, will speak at the service. In addition to Hawking's close friends and family, British astronaut Tim Peake and several local students with disabilities have also been invited to attend.

[h/t BBC]

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IKEA
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Design
IKEA's New Collection for Tiny Apartments Is Inspired by Life on Mars
IKEA
IKEA

Living in a city apartment can feel claustrophobic at times. As Co.Design reports, the Swedish furniture brand IKEA took this experience to the extreme when designers visited a simulated Mars habitat as research for their latest line of housewares aimed at urbanites.

The new collection, called Rumtid, is tailored to fit the cramped spaces that many people are forced to settle for when apartment-hunting in dense, expensive cities. The designers knew they wanted to prioritize efficiency and functionality with their new project, and Mars research provided the perfect inspiration.

At NASA's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, scientists are figuring out how to meet the needs of potential Mars astronauts with very limited resources. Materials have to be light, so that they require as little rocket fuel as possible to ferry them to the red planet, and should ideally run on renewable energy.

IKEA's designers aren't facing quite as many challenges, but spending a few days at the simulated Martian habitat in Utah got them thinking on the right track. The team also conducted additional research at the famously snug capsule hotels in Tokyo. The Rumtid products they came up with include an indoor terrarium shaped like a space-age rocket, a set of colorful, compact air purifiers, and light-weight joints and bars that can be snapped into modular furniture.

The collection isn't ready to hit IKEA shelves just yet—the chain plans to make Rumtid available for customers by 2020. In the meantime, the designers hope to experiment with additional science fiction-worthy ideas, including curtains that clean the air around them.

Air purifiers designed for urban living.

Furniture joints on bubble wrap on black table.

Modular furniture holding water bag.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of IKEA.

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