Third Man Records launched a turntable playing Carl Sagan’s “A Glorious Dawn” into space to celebrate its seventh anniversary.
The Icarus Craft – described as a “space-proof” turntable attached to a high-altitude balloon – spinned the record label’s three millionth record pressed on repeat as it launched near Marsing, Idaho. “A Glorious Dawn” is a Third Man-released seven-inch featuring a musical rendition of a monologue by Sagan interspersed with words from Stephen Hawking, from John D. Boswell’s Symphony of Science.
“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,” Jack White, owner of Third Man Records, 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.”
The Icarus Craft was created by Third Man electronics consultant Kevin Carrico over the course of three years, with some assistance from thermodynamics engineer Gary Lantz of MFK Interests and Carrico’s family: dad Dr. John P. Carrico, PhD, is a physicist who worked on the Mars-Viking missions, his brother John is an astrophysicist and his brother Tim is in the aerospace analytics industry. The non-profit SATINS (Students and Teachers in Near Space) helped with the launch.
It peaked at an altitude of 94,413 feet at 1:21:20 flight time and descended into a vineyard, still spinning the record.
Third Man says it needed low winds, a clear sky and the FAA and FCC’s approval for the launch.
Watch the launch in its entirety, or check out a five-and-a-half video recapping the mission, below.