When the UKube-1 breadbox-sized satellite is launched into orbit this December, it won't just be carrying instruments to measure radiation and space weather. No, it's going to be rocking custom Celestial Charging Station graphics that invite space travelers low on power to stick their dongles into one of its power ports and recharge. Just so we're clear, it's just art -- there aren't actually any power ports. It's like a gas station that advertises clean bathrooms. The graphics were designed by artists Jon Gibson and Amanda White of Los Angeles's iam8bit gallery, and herald a new age in space-art. Me? I've always dreamed of having of my finger paintings hanging on a fridge on the moon.
UKube-1 is the UK Space Agency's first CubeSat mission and is being fully assembled by Scottish satellite company ClydeSpace.
Glasgow-based Clyde Space have been helping to lead a revolution in satellite technology, where now less is more and cheap " nanosatellites" are being seen as money efficient ways of testing equipment and doing valuable science in orbit.
"[Nanosatellites] open the door to do lots of different things in space," says Clyde Space CEO Craig Clark. "Within five years I'd like to be making 100 nanosatellites a year [here in Scotland]".
When reached for comment, one space alien who was struggling to find a power port to connect to on the satellite had this to say, "Good one, earthlings. Nuking your planet." I say go for it you little green slime turd. "I was joking." I SAID PUSH THE DEATH-RAY BUTTON, SISSY.
Hit the jump for a close-up and a shot of how big the satellite really is (I told you, it's a breadbox), as well as a video of what the thing is gonna look like floating in space.
Thanks Jon, and I'm really going to come visit the gallery sometime soon I swear.