The Rock Band OK Go Wants to Launch Student Art Projects Into Space

The rock band OK Go and their partners are inviting students ages 11-18 to brainstorm their most creative ideas to send into space.

OK Go is no stranger to microgravity. The Grammy award-winning band filmed their music video for their 2014 song "Upside Down & Inside Out" over the course of several hundred brief periods of weightlessness during 21 flights aboard a Russian I-76 MDK plane. 

"When we made our video in microgravity, we were just experimenting," lead singer Damian Kulash said in a statement about the contest. "Now we want students to dream up their own experiments, and we will help them get their art in space."

Related: Space Oddity: 10 Bizarre Things We Launched into Space

The rock band is hosting an "Art in Space" contest in partnership with the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and with the sponsorship of Cognizant Technology Solutions, a digital technology and consulting service company.

(Image credit: OK Go/John O’Grady, Melissa Murphy with BOB Industries/ProFilms Russia)

The contest invites teams of three or more students to submit materials describing their concept, even if they don't know how such a vision could be achieved (that's what the contest's expert partners are for). Students must be the ones to submit their ideas, but teachers and parents are welcome to help. The deadline for "Art in Space" submissions is May 6 at 11:59 p.m. CDT (5:59 a.m. on May 7 GMT).

For more details on rules and eligibility, visit the OK Go Sandbox website. 

The winning teams will come together with engineers at Playful Learning Lab to turn their art projects into payloads aboard a reusable New Shepard spacecraft from the private aerospace company Blue Origin. New Shepard performed its 10th test flight on Jan. 23, and Blue Origin officials have shared their hopes to launch their first crewed flight into space by the end of 2019.

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Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.