Jack White and his record label Third Man Records have made history, successfully launching and playing the first phonographic record in space using a custom “space-proof” turntable called the Icarus Craft.
White commissioned his friend Kevin Carrico to design the Icarus Craft in 2012. The final design was launched in Idaho earlier this month while attached to a high-altitude balloon, and footage of the craft’s trip to a height of 28,778 metres above Earth (below) has now been shared online.
During its 80-minute journey, the Icarus Craft played Carl Sagan’s A Glorious Dawn on loop in its sturdy enclosure, which was designed to keep the record cool as it got closer to the sun. The gold plating on the record was also used to help prevent it from losing its shape.
The Icarus Craft achieved its musical space flight with an onboard flight computer, which kept the record spinning when it was safe to do so. The record continued to spin after the balloon burst and the capsule fell back towards earth, and was even spinning after it hit the ground.
“Our main goal from inception to completion of this project was to inject imagination and inspiration into the daily discourse of music and vinyl lovers,” White says.
“Combining our creative impulses with those of discovery and science is our passion, and even on the scale that we are working with here, it was exhilarating to decide to do something that hasn’t been done before and to work towards its completion.
“And, it brings us great fulfillment to pay tribute to the incredible scientist and dreamer that Carl Sagan was. We hope that in meeting our goal we inspire others to dream big and start their own missions, whatever they may be.“
Watch the Icarus Craft make history, below.
Watch: Icarus Craft Makes History: First Phonographic Record Played In Space