• ARTSAT:On-Orbit




On its nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 407km, the art satellite "INVADER" is going to travel at the breathtaking speed of 7.6627km per second, or 27,593km/h, and will thus need only 92 minutes and 42 seconds to make one orbit around the earth. This altitude, at which also the International Space Station (ISS) orbits, lies within a layer of the atmosphere known as the "thermosphere", where gravity is only about 1/100,000th that of the earth's surface, and temperature rises with increasing altitude, up to approximately 1,000°C. However at this altitude the atmosphere's density is so low that atmospheric pressure is only one billionth that of the earth's surface. Therefore the human body does not sense the high temperature as heat, which makes it possible for astronauts to walk in space.

At Terminal 1 "Elevation", variously sized objects ranging from daily life articles up to those at the INVADER's altitude of 407km, are displayed on a seamlessly scrollable table. By way of the tiny 10cm CubeSat, visitors can observe how the sense of scale/distance changes according to direction, demonstrated here on the examples of humans, whales, Space Shuttle, ISS, Concorde, Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Burj Dubai, Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and in addition, Mt. Fuji, Mt. Everest, aircraft, and the altitude of the ISS/CubeSat. The linear distance between Tokyo and Osaka is about 400km. While this distance surely isn't a big deal down here on earth, traveling 400km in vertical direction takes us to a totally different world.