Stockhausen’s Oktophonie performed as a space travel experience

The electronic-music composition Oktophonie by the late Karlheinz Stockhausen is being performed this week in New York City with a space themed production:

From the program description:

New York Premiere
By Karlheinz Stockhausen
Environment designed by Rirkrit Tiravanija

Karlheinz Stockhausen is one of the most significant composers of modern and electronic music, influencing artists from The Beatles to Bjork, Miles Davis to Animal Collective, Frank Zappa, and more. Performed by one of his original collaborators Kathinka Pasveer, the maverick composer’s OKTOPHONIE from his opus Licht gets an exciting new life in an epic production of this monumental composition.

Acclaimed contemporary visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija stages the work as the composer originally intended—in outer space—creating a lunar floating seating unit to fully envelop the listener in octophonic sound. Adorned in white, the audience takes a ritualistic musical journey from plunging darkness into blinding light to fully immerse themselves in the all-encompassing score and surroundings. The vastness of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall is the perfect setting to fully realize this rarely performed work that Stockhausen so boldly envisioned in its highly-anticipated New York premiere.

ISS research program gets mission patch designed by Shepard Fairey

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is a nonprofit organization that promotes and manages research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. They just unveiled a new mission patch designed by the famous graphic artist Shepard Fairey.


The patch commemorates the first period of research on the ISS to be sponsored by CASIS:

Advancing Research Knowledge 1 (ARK1), originally known as Increment 37/38, is the first launch period sponsored by CASIS. ARK1 is scheduled to run from September 2013 through March 2014. Some planned payloads during this increment include award recipients from CASIS’ first Request for Proposals in protein crystallization, binary colloidal alloy tests with implications to product shelf life, and the education program, “Story Time From Space.” A number of mission patches will also be flown to the ISS to commemorate ARK1.

More about the patch:

Here’s a video of the debut of the patch at the Engadget Expand event in San Francisco, CA last weekend: CASIS Communications Manager Patrick O’Neill Unveiling the ARK1 Mission Patch – YouTube

Update on the Chelyabinsk fireball

The NY Times reports on what has been learned about the Chelyabinsk meteor, and the meteoroid that created it, in studies since the event: In Asteroid’s Aftermath, a Sigh of Relief : A Clearer View of the Space Bullet That Grazed Russia –

The report includes a video report on the event and on how non-professionals have participated in helping to refine the estimate of the orbit of the meteoroid.

Data from infrasound detectors around the world has helped in estimating the energy released in the fireball

the Canadian team has calculated that the energy released in the Chelyabinsk explosion was the equivalent of about 440 kilotons of TNT, or about 30 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.

That calculation was made with the help of data from a network of acoustic sensors set up to monitor compliance with the treaty to ban nuclear weapons testing. There are about 45 of the sensors worldwide, detecting so-called infrasound at frequencies well below the range of human hearing.