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In February of 2014, a small team of employees from Planet Labs came to Autodesk's Pier 9 to tour our workshop and offices. As we walked and talked, we communed over common values, similar interests, and shared our desire to learn from our respective creative communities. What followed from that day, and setting of intentions, was two years of planning, meeting, collaborating, laser engraving and rocket launching to create a unique and wonderful partnership that ultimately became the largest art exhibition in space. This is the Instructable that tells the story of why and how that happened.

Step 1: Why Send Art Into Space?

What could be more scintillating than the distant, unknown or otherwise intangible? For eons, the phenomena driving humans to their greatest discoveries have also been the most elusive and invisible to the unassisted eye: the deepest seas, the craggiest mountain precipices, and perhaps most nebulously, the infinite reaches of outer space. Despite the encyclopedia of dangers that lie just beyond all visible horizons, something about unfamiliarity drives us to take big risks. Our inquisitiveness propels us. Our thirst to adventure, discover, and imagine the future is what defines historical epochs; from the Stone Age, to the Space Age, to now. The partnership between the Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop and Planet Labs hinges on the same intrepid curiosity.

Together, we created the largest art exhibition in space.

<p>awsom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?</p>
<p>awesome work, all around!</p>
<p>This is truly fascinating. But then again: shouldn't art also be used to pinpoint &quot;real&quot; problems? This looks like a big waste of energy and facing global warming I doubt this is a project I would like to support.</p>
<p>There's no denying that global warming is a real problem that needs to be solved. And believe it or not, this project might be able to help. The purpose of these satellites is to image the entire earth every day, so as to be able to document the changes that are happening on our planet, and what the effects of human activity are. And why not make those satellites beautiful, containing imagery that affirms the creativity of the human spirit? </p>
<p>Yes, of course :-) As said, I misunderstood parts of the concept. Thanks for sharing!</p>
There is no defined reason for making art. One of them is to being &quot;real&quot; problems to focus. Another is just-cuz-we-can. Or simply to inspire others. Or have a wild go and feel amazed at what all we can achieve. Or a hundred other reasons...<br>It is a truly awe inspiring fact that a few guys got to make graffiti on satellites which were then put in orbit. The best part is there was no overhead, i.e. no extra parts and no hardware cost. The satellites were going to be there anyways and they just made something purely utilitarian into something beautiful.<br>Congrats Instructables on reaching space!
<p>Oh I see! I thought those containers were &quot;the showroom&quot; and not &quot;just decoration&quot; (not meant negative in any way) on the else plain satellite. In that case: respect!</p>
<p>A truly awe-inspiring project and Instructable, Noah! I feel profoundly honored to have my artwork included in this extraterrestrial art show. Thank you so much for developing this opportunity with Planet Labs and co-creating this amazing showcase for our art. This was literally a dream come true for me. Where can we take it from here? Exciting to imagine...</p>

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Bio: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs ... More »
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