What is the Space Song Foundation?
The Space Song Foundation is a non-profit organization started by visionary artists and scientists to design and fabricate technology that supports long-range space missions, while promoting long-term thinking at the intersection of art, science, and design. The Tree of Life is the primary project of the SSF. This project was inspired by studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab about a potential future interstellar probe, in which participants came to a major conclusion: we must transcend current frames of technological obsolescence in order to build a spacecraft that can complete a mission to an interstellar destination, such as Proxima B. The Tree of Life pushes on contemporary consumer frames of obsolescence by creating long-lived technology, in the service of both future long-term space missions, and the preservation of planet Earth. The Tree of Life is a public art project that includes a CubeSat to be deployed in low-Earth orbit for 200 years, during which time it will transmit data about its health/operations to a series of terrestrial trees that have been augmented to act as living, Earthly antenna. At the site of the trees, simultaneously, a 200-year dataset is measured to describe the tree’s health and environmental conditions. That data will be translated into audible sonic frequencies that can be transmitted via radio between the tree and CubeSat, so that effectively, the tree and spacecraft can sing together in a 200-year duet.