Aug 23, 2018

By Andy Johnson

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Come November, the brightest star in the sky may not be a star at all but an art installation in orbit about 600 kilometres above the earth.
Berlin based artist Trevor Paglan has created an arrow-shaped polyethylene balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide that will go into space aboard a SpaceX rocket launched from a US Air Force Base in California.

Once it’s in stable orbit, the so called “Orbital Reflector,” will inflate it to its full 30 metre size and will circle Earth once every 94 minutes.  It’s expected to appear as bright as one of the stars in the Big Dipper.

However, it will only remain in its celestial perch for 3 months.  After that gravity will tug its orbit back into the earth’s atmosphere where it will harmlessly burn up.
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