Milky Way Mosaic Creator Auctions Apollo 11 Tribute As His First NFT
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Finnish artist and astrophotographer JiiPee (full name: Jukka-Pekka Metsavainio), who captivated the world with his 12-year effort to capture a view of the Milky Way encompassing over 200 million stars, will be releasing his tribute to astronaut Michael Collins and the Apollo 11 mission as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) through the SuperRare NFT platform.
“Voices of Apollo 11” will be auctioned to celebrate the 52-year anniversary of the historic trip to the Moon and starts on July 20, 2021 which was the anniversary of to the landing of the spacecraft on the Moon.
“Metsavainio has created the ‘Voices of Apollo 11’ artistic masterpiece to immortalize the mission and its target forever.” Ethan Siegel, @Forbes, Cosmology Science writer, astrophysicist, science communicator & NASA columnist.
Image shows the full Moon made entirely out of the text of the transcript of the onboard voice
conversations of the Apollo 11 mission.
A close up of the top of the artwork shows just letters from the authentic voice transcription of Apollo 11
Command Module recorder data.
JiiPee explains how he created the artwork, “I downloaded NASA’s original full transcript of Apollo 11’s onboard voice conversations. The idea was to turn this text into an image of the Moon. After a few weeks of intense work at a feverish pace my tribute was ready. Now the Moon is made up entirely of Apollo 11 voice transcription letters. This is also a tribute to the entire Apollo 11 team: Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.”
After JiiPee unveiled his Milky Way mosaic, worldwide coverage included Michael Collins, who tweeted about it, praising it as a “beautiful mosaic of the Milky Way”. Collins’ admiration so humbled and impressed JiiPee that he decided to create his “Voices of Apollo 11” artwork as a tribute to Collins.
“I was most gratified and deeply moved when Michael Collins —the Apollo 11 & Gemini 10 astronaut, author, explorer and artist— tweeted such kind words about my work on April 19th, 2021. The news of his passing, just nine days later, hit me all the harder — a very emotional moment for me. Out of the blue, I got inspired to create this artwork. I absolutely had to do it right away, which I did,” said JiiPee.
JiiPee use of the transcribed audio from the Apollo 11 mission creates an image of the Moon that displays a spectacular tapestry of human interaction, an historical event and the beauty of the universe. JiiPee created his artwork as a tribute to Collins and feels that auctioning his 1/1 NFT would best honor Collins and his work by donating portions of the proceeds to efforts that represent Collins’ enthusiasm to help mankind understand science and outer space.
The Apollo 11 landing site is marked by two red letters.
“Michael Collins was affectionately referred to as “the loneliest man in history” for being the command module pilot who flew solo in space behind the Moon and without radio contact with anyone while his colleagues, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, set foot on the Moon for the first time in history. Michael was also an artist. His iconic photos made from Moon orbit are true art and part of mankind’s greatest cultural heritage treasure,” said J-P.
“A similar solitude gripped me while I was creating this tribute image. For being an astronomical photographer and a visual artist often is a very lonely job. Especially this time as I was deeply emotional throughout my creative process for this artwork. Even though I never met him personally, the end of his Earthly mission meant more to me than I was prepared for. I needed to make this photo-based artwork to process the inner storm of my thoughts and feelings.”
“Because he was a director of educational STEM projects for the Air & Space Museum, I decided that I would donate a large part of the funds from the sale of the NFT to help fund the Virtual Moon project creating multi-user virtual experiences for kids and providing access to the Apollo 11 landing site for educational institutions worldwide,” said JiiPee.
J-P will also donate some of the proceeds from the NFT sale to Janet’s Planet, a non-profit organization that teaches young people about Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics (STEAM) and outer space.
J-P prepared a 1-minute 4K video about the “Voices of Apollo 11” artwork. It includes Frank Sinatra’s 1964 recording of “Fly Me to the Moon”, which became closely associated with NASA’s Apollo space program. A copy of the song was played on a Sony TC-50 portable cassette player on the Apollo 10 mission which orbited the Moon, and also on Apollo 11 before the first landing on the Moon.
This 1/1 NFT will be the first NFT that JiiPee will be releasing from his vault of artworks created and compiled over decades as well as many current pieces that he’s working on. He has major plans for a series of his most compelling pieces which he calls “Night Fever” that he will release over the next year.
Ultimately, he wants to provide a 1/1 NFT of his Milky Way mosaic which captured worldwide attention when he released it early in 2021. The mosaic, which took 12 years to create, has been called “astonishing” (Smithsonian Magazine), “WOW!” (Space.com), “jaw dropping” (LiveScience) and “it will crush your tiny heart” (ScienceAlert).