Humanity Star and its creator, Peter Beck.
Courtesy Humanity Star

There was a “secret” satellite onboard Rocket Lab’s “Still Testing” Electron launch vehicle that lifted off from New Zealand on January 21.

Now in orbit is “Humanity Star,” created by Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck.

Still Testing also orbited a Dove Pioneer Earth-imaging satellite for launch customer Planet, as well as two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire, a weather and ship tracking company.

Geodesic sphere

The Humanity Star is a geodesic sphere made from carbon fiber with 65 highly reflective panels. It spins rapidly, reflecting the sun’s rays back to Earth, creating a flashing light that can be seen against a backdrop of stars.

Orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes and visible from anywhere on the globe, the Humanity Star is designed to be a bright symbol and reminder to all on Earth about our fragile place in the universe, explains Beck.

Credit: Humanity Star

Bright, blinking

“No matter where you are in the world, rich or in poverty, in conflict or at peace,” Beck explains, “everyone will be able to see the bright, blinking Humanity Star orbiting Earth in the night sky. My hope is that everyone looking up at the Humanity Star will look past it to the expanse of the universe, feel a connection to our place in it and think a little differently about their lives, actions and what is important.”

The Humanity Star will orbit the Earth for approximately nine months before its orbit starts to decay and it is pulled back into the Earth’s gravity.

To read more information on Humanity Star, and also access a tracking tool to spot the satellite, go to:

http://www.thehumanitystar.com/

 

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