Signals From Mission 26 – October 2012

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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 Centre on October 12th and 13th 2012.

The project focuses on observable modifications to the city’s infrastructures 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.

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Mission 26, Endeavor route

The series consists of 14 cards, each corresponding to a segment of the 12-mile, 48-hour journey of he 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.

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Light poles being remodel along Endeavor’s path of travel
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Nearly 400 trees were removed to allow the orbiter to pass through the streets of South L.A.
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The 151,205 pounds were too much for the roads on some parts of the route, so engineers installed 2,180 steel plates to support the weight of the shuttle plus its transporter.
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Extending the height of a light pole
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Captivating and mysterious marks on sidewalks and roads revealed the path of travel of the shuttle

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 were only half complete.

A limited number of series (300-400 cards) were 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  drew crowds of Angelenos that  wanted to be part of this important moment in the city’s history. In addition, there were several celebratory events accompanying the passage of the shuttle at certain locations. Visitors were invited to draw or rubber-stamp the cards with images of the shuttle as it passes by and write their own messages. The postcards were addressed on the spot and  dropped into our glowing pop-up mailbox for sending through the US postal system shortly after the event.

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Setting up the mailbox

While we wait for the orbiter to reach our destination, visitors fill up the postcards and deposit them in pour bicycle mounted mailbox.

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While we wait for the orbiter to reach our destination, visitors fill up the postcards and deposit them in pour bicycle mounted mailbox.

Participation in the project was free to the public, and it is currently self-funded by Bojána and Donatella. Mailing addresses were not collected from participants, although the cities and countries of the cards’ destinations are recorded and published after the event.

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The shuttle slowly approaching our location. This vision was well worth the (8-hours) wait!
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We could not avoid taking this iconic “L.A” shot.
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After the event, the cards are ready to be mailed to their final destination!

 

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