Orbital Reflector is one of more than 60 satellites on Spaceflight Industries’ SSO-A SmallSat Express, operated by SpaceX. Thus, we don’t control the mission. We are only a customer.
Orbital Reflector will be at peak visibility in the spring and summer months. Because launch is anticipated for November, the sculpture will likely be visible in the southern hemisphere before it is visible in the United States or Europe. However, because of the sculpture’s shifting orbit, visibility will change over time.
Orbital Reflector is anticipated to remain in orbit a minimum of eight weeks. Some analyses indicate that the sculpture could remain visible in orbit for several months.
Input your location in the star map on the home page and learn approximately when Orbital Reflector will fly over. Also, be sure to download Star Walk 2, our partner mobile app. You can view Orbital Reflector in both the free and paid versions of the app.
All satellite tracking applications utilize the NORAD ID number assigned by the Air Force. This data is refreshed every 12 hours, so the location information is predictive, not real-time.
No, absolutely not. Orbital Reflector is a temporary space gesture that will completely burn up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere after a few months. It will leave no trace.
No. Orbital Reflector is moving very rapidly around the planet. The light that it is reflecting will shimmer in the night sky like a pulsating star. The light we see will be no brighter than a star in the Big Dipper.
Orbital Reflector completes a full orbit around the earth once every 94 minutes.
We have partnered with seasoned aerospace engineers who have worked on major satellite projects over many years. Further, we worked closely with our launch service provider, Spaceflight Industries, to perform extensive orbital analyses to ensure collision avoidance. The team has absolutely no concerns about disrupting any space missions.
The probability of colliding with flotsam or meteorites is actually very low. However, the balloon is engineered to withstand a fair amount of debris. Also, given the shape, even if we experience a minor impact that causes a slow leak, the large, reflective diamond surface will still serve the mission purpose. That is the beauty of the diamond design.
HOME PAGE | Trevor Paglen, Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4; Build 4), 2013, Mixed media, 16 x 16 x 16 feet. Courtesy of Trevor Paglen, Metro Pictures, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco. © Trevor Paglen; Trevor Paglen, Nine Reconnaissance Satellites over the Sonora Pass, 2008, C-Print, 48 x 60 inches. Courtesy of Trevor Paglen, Metro Pictures, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco. © Trevor Paglen; Jean Tinguely, Study for an End of the World No. 2, Jean Dry Lake, Nevada, 1962. Photo: Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images; Sherpa in flight, 2016. Courtesy of Spaceflight Industries; Design concept rendering for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art, 2017; Prototype for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by The Nevada Museum of Art, 2016. | THE SCULPTURE | Prototype for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by The Nevada Museum of Art, 2016; Design concept rendering for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art, 2017. | TIMELINE - Art History | Kazimir Malevich, Planits, 1923-24; Justin Van Genderen, Sputnik 1 Poster, 2010; Yves Klein, Pneumatic Rocket, 1958; Echo II Balloon Satellite, 1964. Courtesy of NASA. | TIMELINE - Artist's Works | Trevor Paglen, Unmarked 737s; Tonopah Test Range, NV; Distance ~ 18 miles; 12:36 p.m., 2006, C-Print, 30" x 36", MP8. Courtesy of Altman Siegel Gallery and Metro Pictures.; Trevor Paglen, KEYHOLE IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance Satellite; USA 224), 2011, C-print, 30 x 43 in., MP32.; Trevor Paglen, Five Classified Aircraft, 2007, 5 fabric patches, framed, 15 1/4 x 32 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.; Trevor Paglen, Artifacts, (Anasazi Cliff Dwellings, Canyon de Chelly, Spacecraft in Perpetual Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km Above Equator), 2010, 2 C-prints, 40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm), MP28; Trevor Paglen, They Watch the Moon, 2010. C-print, 36 x 48 in. (91.44 x 121.92 cm) TP-PH10-87-1, MP77. Trevor Paglen, The Last Pictures, 2012, commissioned and presented by Creative Time. Trevor Paglen, Under the Beach (Tumon Bay, Guam), C-Print, 12 in x 16 in. | TIMELINE - Project Milestones | All images courtesy of the Nevada Museum of Art. | EDUCATORS | All images courtesy of the Nevada Museum of Art. | PRODUCERS | Trevor Paglen. Courtesy of the artist, Altman Siegel Gallery and The Cantor Arts Center; Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery, 2016. Photo: Bill Timmerman. | SPONSORS | Prototype for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by The Nevada Museum of Art, 2016. | PRESS ROOM | Prototype for Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by The Nevada Museum of Art, 2016.