Signals from Mission 26 is an urban postcard-mailing event created and organized by Bojána Bányász and Donatella Cusmá. It is specific to the occasion of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s 12-mile journey through the streets of Los Angeles from LAX to the California Science Center on October 12th and 13th, 2012.
The project focuses on observable modifications to the city’s infrastructure and streets that are necessary to accommodate the 78’ wing-span, 58’ tall orbiter that weighs 86 tons on its own without the over-the land transporter.
The series consists of 14 cards, each corresponding to a segment of the 12-mile, 48-hour journey of the shuttle on the published route-map. The front graphics depict an instance of the city’s fabric accommodating the unusual demands placed on it by the orbiter’s passage. The brief explanatory text printed on each postcard is written in the style of a journal, as if observed by the sender of the card.
At the time of the event, the postcards are only half complete. A limited number of series (300-400 cards) are silk-screened on a hand-press by Bojána and Donatella with graphics designed to allow for customization by visitors.
The shuttle’s passage through the streets will draw crowds of Angelinos that want to be part of this important moment in the city’s history. In addition, there are several celebratory events accompanying the passage of the shuttle at certain locations. Visitors are invited to draw or rubber-stamp the cards with images of the shuttle as it passes by and write their own messages. The postcards are addressed on the spot (often people send them to themselves), and are dropped into our glowing pop-up mailbox for sending through the US postal system shortly after the event.
Participation in the project is free to the public, and is currently funded by Bojána and Donatella. Mailing addresses are not collected from participants, although the cities and countries of the cards’ destinations are recorded and published after the event.