rocket lab launch disco ball satellite into the sky, visible from anywhere on the globe

rocket lab launch disco ball satellite into the sky, visible from anywhere on the globe

this past weekend us spaceflight startup rocket lab launched three commercial satellites into orbit, a somewhat newsworthy story made more fabulous when you find out they also launched a disco ball satellite into space too. this was the ‘humanity star’, a geodesic sphere measuring about 1 meter in diameter, which the company announced would become the ‘brightest thing in the night sky’.

rocket lab disco ball satellite humanity star
image courtesy of rocket lab



the sphere hitched a ride on the rocket launch containing the satellites from a remote sheep and cattle farm on the mahia peninsula in new zealand last week. the humanity star is a 3-foot-wide carbon fibre sphere, made up of 65 panels that will apparently reflect so much of the sun’s rays back to earth that it will create a flashing light visible from anywhere on the globe.


the star will orbit the earth every 90 minutes and be visible from anywhere on the globe. rocket lab has set up a website that gives real-time updates about the humanity star’s location allowing people to find out when the satellite will be closest to them, and then go outside to look for it. the startup explains, ‘it was born of the desire to encourage people to consider their place in the universe and reflect on what’s important in their own lives and the lives of humanity as a species.’

  • I for one like this! It’s good to see guys have a bit of fun in a serious and competitive industry and putting something like that up van not be cheap and took more dedication than most of us can muster, simply for the sake of fun. Would really like to know when it’s going to cross my nite sky so that I can see it.

    Ewan le Roux
  • Studio 54 has returned!

  • When I look into the night sky I want to see the beauty and wonder of nature and outer space, not the egotism of of some tech entrepreneur. This publicity stunt is no different than if someone put a giant disco ball in the Grand Canyon or hung one from a giant redwood like a Christmas ornament, or wrapped the Matterhorn in pink plastic or painted some Banksy grafitti on Ayers Rock.

    Peter Nelson
  • It sounds cool, but I also read that, this would be astronomers nightmare. I hope it doesn’t interfere too much with this star gazers.

  • OK, as long as it’s the only one. Otherwise, there will soon be ad satellites up there.

    Mort d'Urban
  • Cool!!!


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