On the 4th August at 4:48am (Japanese Standard Time) Joshua Thomson’s record Platinum Metres blasted off towards its ultimate conclusion. The L.P. was launched into space from the Japanese Tanegashima Space Centre onboard a nano-satellite.
The nano-satellite travelled on a H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), called Kounotori, or White Stork, towards the International Space Station where it was docked before being sent into orbit on 20th November 2013.
The launch and rendezvous with the ISS were streamed live online by JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Footage from those streams can be found here and here.
Spectacular NASA footage of the release of the natosatellites from the ISS can be seen here.
This is a very exciting journey for Platinum Metres.
In the summer of 1977 NASA sent two gold-plated copper phonograph records containing images and audio into space aboard Voyager probes I and II. The records were conceived as time capsules intended to communicate the story of our world to any intelligent life that might encounter them.
Platinum Metres is Joshua Thomson’s reworking of NASA’s epic mission. It’s a love-letter to the vinyl format and a tribute to NASA’s Golden Record.
The nano-satellite that is carrying Platinum Metres has been developed by NanoSatisfi, a Californian start-up tech company that is revolutionising public-access to space.
Of the partnership between Nanosatisfi and Platinum Metres, Peter Platzer, CEO of NanoSatisfi says, "we’re excited that Platinum Metres will use our satellite platform for their space-bound project. The idea of combining morse code and poetry offers a unique perspective. This project is a unifying idea, reminding us all that we are part of one planet together. I am proud that our satellites can provide the medium for this type of art."
Please head to their website, to find out more about their groundbreaking work
As the satellite orbits Earth it will continuously transmit a six word poem out towards deep space. The poem has been translated into morse code and will be broadcast in the form of light waves.
As the poem is repeated the listener is invited to enter the poem from any point.
“listen in praise of one cosmos”
The text, by writer Emily Wolahan, is also etched around the centre of each record. Its broadcast is an imperative to all potential listeners.
Hopefully Platinum Metres says something positive about life on planet Earth.