Enormous ‘Nasa Space Blanket’ The Size Of A FOOTBALL Pitch To Create A Shady Area For Festival-Goers
A Russian entrepreneur is hoping to re-purpose Nasa space blankets to create a shady area for festival-goers to relax during the Burning man festival in Nevada.
Alexander Shtanuk has kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign to fund his project, which aims to transform discarded reflective material into an enormous 300 feet x 300 feet (100 metres x 100 metres) billowing display.
When finished, the space blanket will be around the size of a football pitch, and will be used to create shade and protect from gusts of wind during the music festival.
Entrepreneur Shtanuk hopes to generate £13,335 ($17,500) to take the big blanket to Burning Man, which runs from August 26 to September 4 2018.
The reflective blankets were originally pioneered in the 1960s to provide insulation for Nasa space missions and measure around seven feet by five feet (2.1 metres by 1.6 metres).
They are made of BoPET polyester, a stretched out version of the commonly used polyester known as PET, and are capable of reflecting 97 per cent of all radiated heat.
These days, the space blankets are handed out to athletes after marathons and other exhaustive exercises to help their bodies quickly return to normal temperature after strenuous activity.
However, these blankets are often single-use – and are discarded after the event.
Shtanuk hopes to the shiny material a new lease of life and re-purpose them for his unusual art installation in the Nevada desert.
The crowd-funded money will be used to finance the final assembly, storage and transport of the vast display, he said.
The final sheet will be made up of around 3,000 separate, smaller sheets.
Shtanuk says it will take 25 miles (40 km) of reinforced tape to keep them together.
He hopes the creation will have a multitude of uses at the festival.
The art installation will be allowed to billow in the desert wind, creating much welcomed shadow over a large section of the desert for visitors.
In still and calm conditions, Shtanuk says the blanket can be laid on the ground to act as a seating area.
‘The Blanket will be constantly changing its silhouette by the power of wind, taking different surreal forms – waves, mountains or some giant fantastic sculptures,’ proclaims the fundraising page for the project.
‘During the hot daytime room under the Blanket will be used as a comfy and refreshing rest area, where anyone can relax, chill, have a nap or dance.’
When temperatures dip in the evening, the sheet will become more of an interactive display, rather than a functional parasol, Shtanuk said.
The Russian imagines participants dressed in suits covered in electroluminescent wire – which is created by coating copper wire in a glow-in-the-dark phosphor.
They would then crawl underneath the blanket, ‘creating an effect of oceanic bioluminescent plankton or moving waves of equaliser’.
Contributors to the cause are offered a ‘dusty piece of the blanket’ in five different sizes depending on the donation.
These can range from £12 to £7,629 ($15 to $10,000).
So far, a total of £549 ($720) has been raised by 28 backers.
Burning Man attracts 70,000 visitors annually, and exists as a temporary settlement, known as Black Rock City.