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In a gallery far, far away, Florida Tech students’ artwork displayed on satellite in space

Nava Pishgar’s piece may not be easy to visit

Florida Institute of Technology student Nava Pishgar's artwork is etched on a Dove satellite. (Florida Tech)
Florida Institute of Technology student Nava Pishgar's artwork is etched on a Dove satellite. (Florida Tech) (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida Institute of Technology student is showcasing her art among the stars.

Nava Pishgar is studying aerospace engineering and is one of three winners of a national competition hosted by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and satellite company Planet. The companies asked for participants to produce a work of art for one of Planet’s Dove satellites.

Before 11 p.m. EST on Sept. 2, more than two dozen Dove satellites were hoisted into low earth orbit by a Vega rocket launched from Kourou, French Guiana. Among them was a satellite with Pishgar’s roughly 2-inch wide, 14-inch long image of a hypnotic, swirling swath of wavy lines, sun-like circles to depict what appears to be an eye.

The Brevard County native says the design is open for interpretation and features some of the elements of Persian art, a nod to her family’s roots and to her beloved aunt who is an artist as well and lives in Iran. Pishgar adds the wavy lines were also inspired by the Space Coast’s shoreline.

In a news released, Pishgar says she likes how both art and the cosmos rely on imagination and interpretation.

“You can have sunlight, horizons – you can have those ideas in your mind, make them more concrete, but in the end it’s all in the eye of what you see,” Pishgar said. “And space is in the eye of what you see.”

Her piece, originally drawn with Sharpie markers and pens was laser-etched onto the satellite.

Planet has now launched over 300 Dove satellites into space, and each has a side panel designed by an artist, “from toddlers to world famous illustrators,” the company said.

Pishgar’s piece is now orbiting in a venue above the earth.


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