When Rocket Lab’s Electron hit orbit on January 21, an unusual object was visible alongside the three satellites it launched into space. The public later learned the company had secretly launched what it dubbed the 'Humanity Star': a geodesic sphere made up of carbon fibre, featuring 65 highly reflective panels that resemble that of a disco ball. When in orbit, it spins rapidly in space and reflects the sun's light back to earth like an outer space strobe light.
According to the Humanity Star website, founder Peter Beck said the Humanity Star was created as a reminder of how finite humanity is.
"No matter where you are in the world, rich or in poverty, in conflict or at peace, everyone will be able to see the bright, blinking Humanity Star orbiting Earth in the night sky. My hope is that everyone looking up at the Humanity Star will look past it to the expanse of the universe, feel a connection to our place in it and think a little differently about their lives, actions and what is important," Beck says. Wait for when the Humanity Star is overhead and take your loved ones outside to look up and reflect. You may just feel a connection to the more than seven billion other people on this planet we share this ride with."
Its exact location can be tracked on its website, with Rocket Lab claiming it will be the brightest object in the night sky.
One feature that the Humanity Star is lacking is speakers to blast some space-themed tunes out into the cosmos as it glides and glitters its way around our planet – but as one of our readers pointed out, this would be fruitless considering sound can't travel in space.)
However, there's nothing stopping us celebrating the launch of a New Zealand-created intergalactic disco ball back on earth.
So without further ado, here's a victorious space-themed soundtrack to honour entrepreneurs like Peter Beck, who are using Kiwi ingenuity to get the party started in the galaxy.
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