Shot with One Eye - Blog

Shot with One Eye - The Latest News & Imagery from Photographer Steve Boxall.

MIT in Zero Gravity

Late in 2017 The The Zero Gravity Corporation commissioned me to photograph a zero gravity research flight for MIT Media Lab. Their goal: "spend 90 minutes studying the effects of a zero-gravity environment on research ranging from asteroid grappling, to self-assembling space architecture, to music and performance, to sensory and emotional responses. This was the Space Exploration initiative's inaugural research deployment, and a first step toward realizing the initiative's goal of democratizing access to space." Full Article...

Fortunately, I get to play astronaut in Zero Gravity fairly often and I want to share some of the impressive concepts and ideas that I documented on the research flight. Faith in Humanity fully restored!


Orbit Weaver Suit

The Orbit Weaver Suit for zero gravity was designed by Media Lab Director's Fellow Andrea Lauer in collaboration with Xin Liu. 

The design was inspired by a drawing Jordan Piantedosi made for Xin Liu, in which she is in a suit and casting strings out into space. The drawing is a reference to Orbit Weaver, a performance piece Xin created to test in a zero-gravity environment in November 2017. 

MIT Media Lab - goZerog.com


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Sequencing DNA in Lunar and Martian Gravity


Maria Zuber and postdoc Noelle Bryan had an EAPS experiment aboard as well, developed with colleague Christopher E. Carr. They were the first group ever to sequence DNA at lunar and Martian gravity, and are now developing a life detection device that they hope to send to Mars one day. The experiment was a great success, reports Bryan, and they're writing up the results for peer review.


VR Maze in Zero Gravity


"The brain uses space to index, organize, and retrieve memories. However, our sense of space depends on our perception of gravity". MIT Research Assistant, Neo (Mostafa) Mohsenvand tests the effect of altering gravity on human memory with a virtual reality experience that exposes the user to a sequence of small random mazes under different gravitational conditions.
MIT Media Lab - goZerog.com


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The Telemetron


Today, the environments that humans occupy in space are designed for survival. Humans are carefully shuttled to and from space, and during their relatively short stays, they are provided with minimum supplies to remain alive and able to perform experiments. As we begin to plan less for short visits and more for life in space (such as a six to eight month trip to Mars and beyond) the question becomes: What does human culture look like in space?

Nicole L'Huillier and Sands Fish decided to explore how design and creativity might evolve as we begin to do more than merely survive in space. The Telemetron is a unique mode of musical performance that takes advantage of the poetics of zero gravity, and opens a new field of musical creativity. The project attempts to expand expression beyond the limits of earth-based instruments and performers. Leveraging sensors, data transmission and capture (for performance after flight), as well as their experience as composers and performers, Sands and Nicole explore a new body language for music.

The Telemetron was played for the first time during the inaugural Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative's Zero G flight. This instrument is a clear dodecahedron chamber that contains customized "chimes" containing gyroscopes. The chimes emit their telemetry as they spin and collide. Sensors record the position, direction, and spin of each chime. These elements create the composition. The performers play the instrument by moving it in space, shaking it, colliding it. The performance can be recorded to be experienced on earth or used as a live instrument during future space flights. The instrument can be played inside space craft or in the vacuum of space without the benefit of sound waves.

Recorded as a beautiful audio-visual experience, this experiment opens the doors for new forms of creative expression, and brings the magic of space to musicians. We hope to reach beyond the utilitarian, and toward the inspiring.

MIT Media Lab - goZerog.com