The Project

Art in Space
Another highlight in the international Visitor Art campaign
TerraSAR-X takes first Space-Visitor with it on its journey into Space

Contemporary art has entered unexplored territory with the launch of the first "Space Visitor" on board TerraSAR-X. The sculpture, created by the two internationally known artists Ragnhild Becker und Gunar Seitz, is the largest 3-dimentional piece of art to have ever been mounted onto a space satellite.

The Space Visitor is made from an aluminium alloy suitable for Space with a unique coating especially developed by the space systems company Astrium. It is 15 cm high and weighs 354.4g. The instalment and transport costs were covered by Astrium GmbH in Immenstaad  am Bodensee under the project management of Wolfgang Pitz.

The sculpture will orbit the Earth approximately every 95 minutes at a height of 514km. During this time the Earth will have continued turning on its own axis so that within a maximum of four days the Visitor will have flown over every point on the planet. The satellite will travel at a speed of about 7.5 km per second and will circle the Earth on a polar orbit 15 times a day. The life-expectancy of the satellite has been projected for 5 years and the sculpture will burn up along with it when they re-enter the earth's atmosphere.

At the same time two bronze Polar Visitors will be making their way to the Arctic and Antarctic respectively. The Northern campaign will be organised and supervised by Dr. Christian Haas, head of the German Cyro-Sat Project Office (AWI).

The German Aerospace Centre will take the second Polar Visitor to the Antarctic DLR Station with the aim of it being taken on into the central South Polar Region.

Space Visitor and the Polar Visitors will make up a set of triplets whereby the Polar Visitors will be flown over by the Visitor installed in TerraSAR-X several times a day. This campaign is an additional highlight for the international Visitor Project in which many hundreds of people in over 60 countries all over the world have already played an active role.

The 3 works of art will be dispersed and therefore entrusted to the general public, thereby removing them from the art market. This exactly expresses the philosophy behind the whole Visitor campaign of Becker and Seitz, as the sculptures will not be owned by anybody. So in a few years time at the end of the mission when the Space-Visitor re-enters the atmosphere it will burn up into its respective elements and in minute quantities return to Earth.


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