NASA Orbit Pavilion to debut at The Huntington Library at the end of October

The pavilion uses sound to represent the movement of the International Space Station and 19 earth satellites.

October 21, 2016 |

Photo: Chuck Choi

NASA Orbit Pavilion, a new structure designed by StudioKCA in collaboration with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and sound artist Shane Myrbeck, looks to give visitors the experience of being surrounded by the sounds of satellites in space when it opens on Oct. 29 at The Huntington Library.

The idea behind the design of the structure was to mimic the experience of holding a seashell to one’s ear and hearing the ocean, but to do so on a much larger scale. Visitors won’t just hold this giant cosmic shell to their ears, they will walk inside of it and be met with “a symphony built out of the sounds of satellites in space,” according to Jason Kilmoski, Principal of StudioKCA.

Consisting of 28 speakers spatially arranged to mimic orbits, the pavilion acts as a sound chamber as satellites, represented by distinct, artistically created sounds, seem to swirl around visitors from above, below, and to all sides. There are 20 unique sounds in total, representing the International Space Station and 19 earth satellites.

The physical design of the structure also reflects the paths of space satellites. 100 orbital paths are cut via water jet into the 3,500 sf of aluminum panels that cover the aluminum framework of the pavilion. The design also minimizes external noise and decreases wind loads to make the experience for those within as immersive as possible.

The NASA Orbit Pavilion debuted in the summer of 2015 at the World Science Festival at New York University and will be on display at The Huntington Library until Feb. 27, 2017.

Click here to listen to the “symphony” of satellites.

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