CubeSat Alpha Hologram & Breakthrough Astronomy
In 2023, CubeSat Alpha is scheduled to be deployed in orbit. Designed and constructed by a Cornell University team, it is a demonstrator of a possible technology used by a spacecraft that may ultimately fly to the stars. As an aside to the more technical facets of the mission, Alpha is among the first exhibitions of holography in space, a medium that shows promise in several roles for interstellar travel. The concept is similar to the phonographic records onboard the Voyager probes launched in 1977, except that a holographic message could contain far more information and be part of the sail structure that propels the spacecraft.
The installation presents the contributions of scientists and technicians to the implementation of this project, as well as the six holograms created by C Bangs and Martina Mrongovius. These holograms are glued to each face of the CubeSat, a miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiple cubic modules of only 10 centimeters (approximately 4 inches). Additionally, we offer an invitation to the visiting public to add images and information to future objects sent into space.
The display incorporates a CubeSat ‘Alpha 1U’ in a mirrored environment, the six holograms illuminated with LED lighting. Situated around the space is a series of sculptures created by artist C Bangs for the holograms, with retro-reflective material, alongside panels and other related work by the artist. A monitor shows an animation of wafer thin satellites designed by Zac Manchester released from CubeSat Alpha IU in space. Video and astronomical observational diagrams of recent developments in the participants’ Breakthrough Starshot initiative research also line the walls. Interactive tablets collect messages and ideas from visitors about what they would like to include on a Holographic Message Plaque. “Digital Panels” trace the progression of the project and include the names and contributions of the team.
Accompanying Exhibition: Breakthrough Astronomy
The Cube Sat installation is the focus, with a companion exhibition around the entire initiative of space and space exploration. Breakthrough Astronomy references the themes of Breakthrough Initiatives, a suite of space science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the Universe. Olga Ast, Janet Biggs, George Bolster, Jonathan Feldschuh, Kahn & Selesnick, Eva Lee, Ellen Levy, Patricia Olynyk, Ilse Schreiber-Noll and Dee Shapiro share their distinctive approaches to the vast questions of the universe with visual answers. These artists create an environment within the gallery space with video installations, prints, paintings, book art and other sculptural objects hanging from the ceiling, perched on pedestals, and installed along the walls to build an interior space about outer space.
Event programming supplements the experience. We plan a conference centered around Breakthrough Initiatives that brings scientists and artists into discussions concerned with several relevant issues, dealing with intellectual and artistic solutions and their social impact. The installation will bring together Cornell University’s community and CENTRAL BOOKING’s art audience. Our exhibition catalog will document the entire project, from the process of CubeSat to the work of the Breakthrough Astronomy artists.
Maddy Rosenberg and C Bangs
Kahn & Selesnick
“Circling one star among hundreds of billions, in one galaxy among a hundred billion more, in a Universe that is vast and expanding ever faster – perhaps toward infinity. In the granular details of daily life, it’s easy to forget that we live in a place of astonishing grandeur and mystery.”
CENTRAL BOOKING’s CubeSat project
Sponsored by Cosmo Art & Science Foundation