There are those readers out there who will get the Anne McCaffrey reference–the rest should eventually take time to read that fun book. Unlike the book’s protagonist, a ship with a living brain that eventually sings, this post is about a satellite named Ulises 1 that will “sing” to the people of Earth once it’s in orbit. The site, Metro.us, initially caught my eye about this small singing satellite. It will look more like the satellite in the picture below rather than a full-function starship:
Ulises 1 doesn’t have a human brain on board. Instead, it’s relying on digital music tracks–11 of them–which it will broadcast on a very high radio frequency once it is in orbit. Ulises 1 is a project from a group of artists called the Mexican Space Collective (sounds Borg-like, doesn’t it?). They are using a tubesat platform for Ulises 1, and make it sound like they are using “a company” out of the Mojave Space Port to launch the satellite into orbit. At least that’s what’s on their website, but on a different site, video they made states they are using the “Japanese Spacial Agency” and plan to deliver Ulises 1 to them in August 2014. Perhaps they mean the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)?
They plan to have the satellite launched sometime in January 2015. Obviously, the tubesat will not be doing too much else than stream music from its radio to the world. The tubesat platform is likely a kit from InterOrbital Systems. They estimate operational life of their very small tubesats to be about two months. The tubesats are designed to eventually fall back to Earth, burning up as they fall through the atmosphere. Which means Ulises 1 will probably be in very low earth orbit.
The Collective is attempting some crowdfunding through IndieGogo, so if you want to push art out into space, this might be one way to do it. If you want to hear what the Collective intends to broadcast to the world, you can listen to the artists’ music here. Then you can decide whether to help out financially or not.
My favorite of the bunch is Sonocosmonaut–it has a Battles-like style to it. If Ulises 1 does get launched, then as weird sounding as some of the music is, maybe you’ll like what you hear, and sing along with the satellite?