Monday, May 30, 2016

Space + Art - Week 9

Space + Art
Week 9
Josh Woods

This week we learned about space and that it involves everything we have learned this quarter from robotics and nanotechnology to biotech. Space is looked to be the meaning of life but ultimately is empty space with the earth practically a blue dot. We have been fascinated by space since the Romans, but we have not been able to travel to outer space until the last century. 

It was very interesting to see the powers of ten by Ray Eames for IBM. It takes us from 10 to the 24th power meters away (which is the furthest point away from earth we know) to 10 to the negative 15th power meters in a single proton in a man's hand (which is the lowest limit we know since we don't know what is in a proton yet).From that of a distance back it just looks like empty space with little speck galaxies floating around in darkness. This puts us as humans into perspective as in we are smaller than a dot, practically nothing in thus universe yet we are made up of millions of even smaller specks in atoms. 

In the history of space taught in lecture by professor Vensa, a few parts really stuck out to me and caught my interest more than others. One of them being the discovery of buckyballs in 1996 that led to a Nobel prize. It was hypothesized that buckyballs had been brought by comets and meteorites that hit earth very long ago and brought with them vital organic compounds such as the helium trapped in the buckyballs. This led to the early work in nanotechnology. They have even recently been found in space as a solid even though they had only been found in gas before. 

Another is the Ansari X Prize also in 1996. X Prize Foundation created a space competition for 10 million dollars to the 1st non-government org. to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space in two weeks. This was created to chase the idea of cheap space flight for tourist. The Tier One project designed by Burt Rutan (financed by Microsoft) using the experimental space plan Spaceship One won it on October 4th, 2004 that cost 100 million dollars to win only 10 million (sadly). With this success more people have been inspired to create easir space travel such as Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Atlantic) and Elon Musk with SpaceX (PayPal founder). 

A lot of art has also been inspired by space. From pictures to paintings to even movie. From the 1950's onward, the ideas of space exploration fantasy and fiction have been so intriguing. Films like Lost in Space, Star Trek, and Star Wars have so many fans even now. early cartoons like the Jetsons have even been inspired by space and the future. This is another place space meets art.
Star Trek 

"Ansari XPRIZE." Ansari XPRIZE. XPRIZE Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
CNN. "Virgin Galactic to Unveil New Spaceship." YouTube. YouTube, 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Gartner, John. "Nanotech: Up and Atom." RSS. N.p., 7 Sept. 2004. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Palca, Joe. "A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize." NPR. NPR, 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
Stepanov, Aleksandr. "Powers of Ten Charles and Ray Eames on." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.
"United NationsOffice for Outer Space Affairs." A History of Space. UNOOSA, n.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>.

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