Well, here it is — the 15th and FINAL poster for my Digital Media Studies Master’s Project. Gravity Probe B was launched in 2004 to test two predictions from Einstein’s theory of general relativity. It was led by the physics department at Stanford, and I actually remember hearing about it when I was a grad student there in 2001-2002. The spacecraft had a telescope which sighted a star in Pegasus as a reference, and precisely measured tiny changes in the direction of spin of four gyroscopes.
Fun facts: The gyros themselves were (at the time) the most nearly spherical objects ever made — perfectly round to within 40 atoms (yes, atoms). Because of the precise orbit required by the mission, the launch window was only 1 second long. And (spoiler alert!) the data gathered by Gravity Probe B over a 12-month period confirmed Einstein’s predictions. That dude was pretty smart, in case you haven’t heard.
And thus, my project is done. Yesterday I turned in my final binder with my entire narrative that will be printed, bound, and stored in the UHCL library until the end of time…or for a while, anyway. Ironically, the final product doesn’t actually include full-size prints of my posters — only reduced files printed on normal 8.5 x 11″ paper. It’s hopefully undergoing review by my advisor and the dean’s office right now.
The logistics involved in getting the whole thing submitted have been a disaster, but I’m going to forego public ranting on that topic for now.
Overall, I am happy with how my project turned out, and I am even happier to be done. As you can imagine, I’m pretty burned out on making posters of space missions at the moment, but if I ever decide to revisit this series there are several missions still on my list — Deep Impact, Stardust, Dawn, Pioneer, Luna, and Genesis to name several. Heck, I could do a whole series of Mars missions alone — Viking, Pathfinder, MGS, MRO, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix…well, you get the idea.