Category Archives: Space

For all your Space needs…

Science Fiction Illustrations by Philippe Druillet

June 27th, 2014 | Robot, Space

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Philippe Druillet is a cartoonist and illustrator from Toulouse, France. He entered the art world as a regular contributor to the French comic, Pilote, in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, and eventually earned the nickname of “Space Architect” by creating massive backdrops featuring buildings inspired by ancient Indian temples and Gothic cathedrals.

Philippe’s work features gritty, dystopian themes filled with cyborgs, alien creatures, and elaborate depictions of war. Throughout the 1970’s, you could find his illustrations in comic books as well as on many album and book covers. Gathered here is just a small sample of the work that he created during his illustrious career.

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philippe druillet - SERBIAN FAIRY TALES

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Douceurs

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If his drawings piqued your curiosity, you can find more from Philippe at his website (although it may be currently down for maintenance).

-RSB

“Buckyball” in Madison Square Park by Leo Villareal

June 3rd, 2014 | Space

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This geometric light sculpture was made by Leo Villareal using 180 LED tubes driven by custom software to emit random compositions of both color and speed. A word from the artist:

“The sequence’s opacity, speed and scale can all be manipulated through custom software. Ultimately, complex compositions are formed and then displayed in random order and for a random amount of time in the final artwork. The visual manifestation of the code in light is my core interest.”

The title, “Buckyball,” is in reference to the spherical fullerene molecule with the formula C60 (Carbon 60). The molecule is said to look like a soccer ball with twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons, containing a carbon atom at each vertex of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge (the molecule got its name from the famous creator of the geodesic dome, Buckminster Fuller).

You can read about the interesting history of the Buckyball here.

Unfortunately, this light installation was taken down in February of 2013, so it will only live on in the internet.

-RSB

A Day in the Life of an Earthbound Astronaut

May 30th, 2014 | Space

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Check out this awesome series of astronaut photos by Tim Dodd. The life of an earthbound astronaut can be a bit depressing.  Like a snail without its shell, Dodd depicts the everyday life of an astronaut who dreams to be back in space, where he belongs… and it’s hilarious!

Dodd bought the high altitude Russian spacesuit at the auction site last year and has been working on this project ever since.

“I’d been scheming how to best use the suit,” he writes on his blog. “I have been revisiting my childhood love for space and my obsession was growing stronger and stronger. It was only natural to use this suit to project the inner child in me, still dreaming about space.”

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Good morning world!

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Decisions, decisions

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Always brush your teeth!

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Boldly going where no astronaut has gone before

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I’m super depressed Chris Hadfield was named TIME’s “Astronaut of the Year”

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It just isn’t the same

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Time to mow!

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Did a little grocery shopping

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I always order my ice cream à la space

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Out for a walk with my dog Laika

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Did some research at the library

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Houston, we have a problem

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Testing out my solid rocket boosters

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Playing with my Zero-G simulator

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Watching my favorite movie

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Goodnight world

You can find more from Tim Dodd at his photography site.

-RSB

Melting Sculpture Illusion by Takeshi Murata

May 28th, 2014 | Space

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Takeshi Murata recently created this magical melting sphere called the “Melter 3-D”, which was on display in a darkened room at the Ratio 3 gallery as part of the Frieze Art Fair. If you’re unfamiliar… the Frieze Art Fair is one of the biggest contemporary art fairs in the world and takes place in Randall’s Island, Manhattan every year.

But back to this piece of art! How does it work? The “Melter 3-D” is a a zoetrope, a pre-cinematic device that creates an illusion of motion from the rapid succession of static pictures. This 3D version implements a stroboscope, which essentially means that flashing lights are used in to illuminate the sculpture at the appropriate times to create an illusion of movement.

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This brings us to one problem with the practicality of this piece of art, discussed by one viewer after seeing the otherworldly sculpture first-hand:

“I saw it at the Frieze, and it was one of my favorite pieces on exhibition. The downside was that the effect requires multiple strobe lights to work. Trust me when I say that you would not want to be the person next to it for more than a few minutes. After about 30 seconds, most people (myself included) seemed to begin experiencing headaches.”

Nonetheless, the illusion is a sight to behold, and I’d happily experience the headache to see this masterpiece in action. Apparently, Murata spent months configuring the design on a computer and then worked with high-quality manufacturing engineers (who had previously worked on Hollywood CGI projects) to create the final product, an alien orb sent here to entertain Earth. What an incredible creation!

-RSB

Olafur Eliasson – An Exploration of Light , Space, and Reason

May 21st, 2014 | Space

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Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist who creates large-scale installations that immerse the viewer in a new sense of space. His artwork often features unconventional geometry, mirrors, and natural elements such as light, water, and stone.

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The goal of Eliasson’s artwork is to help us question ideas of indivuality and collectivity, urging us to explore the link between thinking and doing. The experience he creates goes beyond entertainment into the realm of responsibility of action. But, if you don’t feel any of these emotions… undoubtedly, his work is beautiful.

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What I find particularly fascinating is that Eliasson treats his studio like a science lab. He’s even known to bring in actual scientists to advise him on new and ambitious projects. I find this borderline obsessive artistic exploration to be rather inspiring.

If you’re interested in experiencing his work first-hand, you can find a list of exhibitions here.

-RSB

Falcon 9 Reusable Rocket – First Test Flight

April 21st, 2014 | Space

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The folks at SpaceX are leading us into a new era of space technology dominated by private enterprise. The company already became the first company to send an unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station back in 2012 (fulfilling a $1.6 billion contract with NASA), and now, they are setting their sights on developing a reusable rocket system which will save the company a significant amount of money.

“If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before. That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” —Elon Musk

Above, you can see the video taken by a flying drone of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket taking its first test flight in Texas. The goal was to lift off and hover at a height of 250 meters before returning to the landing pad. They are still developing the rocket, so it’s much easier to do these sorts of small test flights to spot any design flaws before moving on to the bigger tests which will take place in New Mexico.

The test flight was a success by all accounts. Stay tuned for the next design stage.

-RSB

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