NASA OsirisREX: Asteroid Bennu

We have discovered the heart of Bennu, on the asteroid itself!

For visibility I have rotated and colourised it below 🙂

Boulder #1

The image was taken by the MapCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on April 19, from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.6 km). For scale, the largest boulder is 190 ft (58 m) wide, which is about the width of a soccer field.

When the image was taken, the spacecraft was over the southern hemisphere, pointing MapCam south.

Tubular Bells III: iPad Pro Test

Models created in Shapr3D, textured in Procreate, Rendered in Matter, composited in Luma Fusion, all on a freakishly fast first of its kind iPad- the iPad Pro. The compositing can run in realtime.

Music by Mike Oldfield.

3D models created by hand, with the exception of the radar data modelling Asteroid Bennu (from Earth-based radar) provided by NASA.

Child of the Dogstar

I’ve always had a thing for rotating things that resemble the motion of cogs turning in the mind, windmills spinning in the breeze, space probes flying through space, gyrating for their time-delay integrated image systems…(like Juno).

So it took over 20 years to track down one of my favourire children’s TV series- eventually discovering some terrible quality rips from someone’s VHS on YouTube, excellent!

But where’s the official release? I did some research only to find out that the reason there had not been an official home VHS or DVD release was down to the copyrights “being stuck in litigation limbo” with NZTV for over 20 years!

So no VHS or DVD releases until the late 2000s.

One must understand: this TV program was aired ONCE in the UK in the 1980s- of those few Saturday mornings that I did get to watch TV, I accidentally stumbled upon the very first episode which was a blessing, and got immediately hooked. Sci-Fi kids TV was rare.

I’m no 3D designer, so I really have no idea what I am doing and that’s why I find it fun to do. Using a demo version of Shapr3D on my iPad Pro, I created a series of models.

Below are some of the stages of the model design as well as some clips of source material from which this device originates.

This isn’t my first replica built either- I did build a replica when I was a kid out of cardboard and electronics, but of course, no photographs and nothing survived!

Over the course of it’s airing, Saturday mornings were delightfully punctuated by this eerie and seemingly malevolent device’s wishes to draw enough energy by [no spoilers] to make contact with its home/owners- I highly recommend watching the mini-TV series “Children of the Dog Star”, just for the fact its great B-quality Sci-Fi. See what you come away with- try and understand what it would have been like for an impressionable 7 year old like me.

Travelling Light

In the year of 2016, a change of pace and creative direction- photographic artwork inspired by light, jet turbines and the smell of kerosine in the dark at the local airport during a stint of experimentation with night capture software and processing, basically just to see what I could do within the limitations of the then-current iPhone hardware.

All pictures were taken with iPhone 4 & 5, limiting the quality and resolution somewhat, but the results are pleasing.

Each capture takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to make, then composition of the exposures done (also on the iPhone). Ilona-Ruby and myself were at the airport on such a regular basis we became quite familiar with the awesome staff and employees at the various establishments within the terminal 🙂

The view is astonishingly beautiful especially at sunset as the terminal has been deliberately built to take the positioning of the sunlight to make maximum use of it within the building itself as well as a pleasant place to sit on the panorama terrace, upstairs and outside with a full unobstructed view of the entire airfield and a head-on view of nearly all of the gates with S2 being directly in front and center.

The New Building Collapsed

During the time we spent at the airport there had also been the construction of a new multipurpose building that included several stories of car parking, and it was almost complete and ready to open when a large portion of it suddenly collapsed. This was a building meant to have people in it!

The collapse happened on the one day we weren’t there. Typical! We had been at the airport every day but one that week. Luckily, nobody was injured. 👀 ✈️

Meanwhile, at arrivals…

Update 2018

The collapsed building has been completely torn down and another, bigger building exactly the same building but without the epic construction faults and failures has been constructed in its place.

Estimated completion date for the new building is October 2019. The damage to the collapsed building came to about €22,000,000 (About $25 million US dollars). I am glad it is all sorted out now and look forward to seeing what the airport looks like later in 2019.

The investigation into the cause of the collapse did not find anything odd, the most probable cause was materials failure as it dried in the unusually hot heatwave that struck the Netherlands that week.

Update 2020: The speculation on the probable cause was wrong, the fault lay completely with the construction company.

The Dutch Safety Board investigation found the load bearing floor panels had been installed incorrectly, leading to catastrophic structural integrity failure.

Eindhoven Airport and BAM reach agreement on financial settlement parking garage

Eindhoven Airport and construction company BAM reached an agreement on the financial settlement of the incident of 27 May 2017, in which the parking garage at Eindhoven Airport partially collapsed. Fortunately no casualties occurred during the incident.

At the beginning of April 2018 BAM started with the rebuilding of the parking garage. Completion is planned for October 2019. The parties do not make any further announcements regarding the content of the agreement reached.

“We are pleased that with this agreement we can put a stop to financial settlement and we can focus on the future”, says Joost Meijs, general manager of Eindhoven Airport.

“The settlement fits within the provision made by BAM in the fourth quarter of 2017,” says Jaap Hazeleger, director BAM Bouw en Techniek bv. “The rebuilding is progressing well.”

Eindhoven / Bunnik, 2 January 2019

But wait, there’s more…

Update 2020

The Dutch Safety Board did an interesting video (in English) about this entire story. Check it out!

Wormhole Generation

A bit of an experiment with sound generation, originally the sound input to this was from an FM radio scanner, many of the signals in this are sources such as trucked radio systems, interference and other oddities found in the VHF spectrum.

The sound was then processed via Paulstretch, an extreme reverberation and time-stretching tool, with additional harmonics added as well as some filtering. This is the end result. Enjoy!

Download the full audio soundscape for free here 🙂

Space: NASA Juno Arrival At Jupiter

The evening of July 4th 2016 when NASA Juno arrived at Jupiter after a chilly five year journey from Earth.

Juno’s lead scientists had just announced the acquisition of signal live as we followed the broadcast from NASA headquarters online.

Within the hour, Juno announced that it had completed a successful orbital insertion around Jupiter.

Woohoo!! Juno had arrived!

This is the the first dedicated probe to take up temporary residence orbiting the gas giant! It’s a pretty big deal for science, have you seen how many reddit posts are made from its images? 🤣

Btw, this was no small feat as Jupiter has a dangerous and extremely hazardous environment that reaches far out into space, way beyond the planet’s “atmosphere”.

The highly volatile electromagnetic radiation of Jupiter is sufficient to disrupt electronics at great distance, so Juno had to be constructed with hardened electronics to survive the extremely hostile environment, notably the highly charged particles trapped in Jupiter’s vast & dangerous Van Allen belts.

NASA announced an impromptu competition inviting the general public to contribute artworks to mark the celebration. Ok then! Let’s go!

To cut a long story short, holy ^%$#, I won first prize, and was sent a goodie bag of swag, and amongst the fluff was an incredible piece of space history- a mission medallion! 😳

Blown away (as you would be), I sent ULA a canvas of my entry as a thank you. 😊 They didn’t have to do this but the CEO of ULA (Tory Bruno) had it put in a cabinet and sent me a photograph of it! Just Wow! 😯 😅

The absolute legend! 👀

The final updated version shipped as a print, the blue electrical-like radiation is actually a digitally captured long exposure of part of a ride at the Efteling themepark known as Droomvluch (Dreamflight). The little red guy? I guess that’ll be Wintje, aka Winter Bynes. 🤣 🤮

Taken up a notch holy $%^!

Some of my light-scribbles and “processed images” shown above have been included in NASA JPL’s Juno documentary. I did have to sign some release forms sent to me so everything is above board and good 👍 but get this: Candy Hansen herself– 👀 you know, the lady responsible for planning the trajectories of the Voyager probes through the solar system? 👀 Ever heard of Cassini-Huygens? Co-investigator! It was Candy who reached out with the release forms! 😳

I don’t quite know how it has all come together but it has and this is like some of the best bucket list stuff that’s ever happened for me, it has been soooo cool! I have been a space nerd forever, for as long as I can remember! 😎 🚀

Candy is now retired but still volunteers at NASA JPL to manage and coordinate some of the fun projects like the public outreach project for Juno, and this has now spun off a documentary that you can enjoy! Check it out!

It was because of this interaction and the timing being precisely at the same time that Cassini was to be terminated by plunged it into the atmosphere of Saturn 😢.

Inspired in a pretty sad way, I wrote a new piece of music, nerdy as it may sound- but inspired by and dedicated to the JPL team behind all of the wonderful things they show us about our place in space.

A swan song for Cassini, a chip tune melody built upon a majestic reinterpretation of the melodic content from the Cassini magnetometer recordings taken as Cassini danced through Saturns magnetosphere. The melody can be heard at the end of the song playing alongside the magnetosphere recording!


But wait, there’s more! 😳

Not to leave Juno’s team without a tribute, here’s a full-on video/demo production (nerd info here, if you want to get the 4.7kb exe music file) or just enjoy it on YouTube with visuals created solely on space-age tech, a smartphone. 😂