The vinyl revolution has officially reached the stratosphere, as Jack White’s Third Man Records has now officially played a record in space for the first time.
The effort, which was previously hinted at by White’s label earlier this month, used a weather balloon and a specially designed record player payload called Icarus, reaching over 94 thousand feet above Earth’s surface. The gold-plated LP played at that altitude was a mix of A Glorious Dawn by composer John Boswell, and included audio of Carl Sagan talking about the wonders of the universe.
The Icarus payload took more than three years to design, and Third Man partnered with engineer Kevin Carrico to help with the project. They knew that as the record player rose high into Earth’s atmosphere, the temperature and lack of oxygen in the air could cause big engineering problems for vinyl playback, most notably constant shrinking and expansion of the playback surface. In fact, the record wasn’t coated in gold for the material’s good looks — it was to make sure that the vinyl held its shape during the physically taxing journey to the stars.
For White, the project was less of a promotional effort than a personal dream come true, one he hopes will inspire fans and dreamers everywhere.
“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,” said the rock musician of the Icarus effort, “We hope that in meeting our goal, we inspire others to dream big and start their own missions, whatever they may be.”
In a world filled with wealthy musicians who spend their money on things like gold chains, expensive cars, and vacation homes, White’s youthful sense of adventure remains a testament to his extremely creative persona.
The company has released a complete two-hour video of the launch, with cameras on board the craft capturing every moment, from takeoff to parachute-assisted landing.