“Ascent” Balloon Launch Press Release

Look Up as Kansas City Reaches for the Stars

Critically acclaimed ensemble partners with engineers and students to photograph Kansas City from 100,000 feet up

Dark Matter launches its Rocket Grant winning project with a near-space balloon camera flight.  Partnering with local high school students and engineers, Dark Matter will video record and photograph a trip into near-space over Kansas City.  The balloon’s onboard high definition video and camera footage will then be used to generate an hour-long performance at Union Station’s Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium in May, 2012.  During this performance, live, original music will accompany these images projected sixty feet across on the Gottlieb Planetarium dome.

Kansas City is invited to watch the balloon launch in person or via the internet.  During the flight, GPS and TV transmitters on the balloon will allow armchair astronauts at home to see a live video feed from the balloon and track its exact location, altitude, and groundspeed with Google Maps.  The latest launch information and links to the live internet broadcast can be found on the Ascent Blog located on Dark Matter’s website: http://www.darkmatterkc.com.

The launch is currently scheduled for Saturday, October 1st with a rain date of Sunday, October 2nd.  If both October 1st and 2nd have inclement weather then the launch will be postponed until October 8th or 9th.  Due to ever-changing weather conditions, launch location and exact time will be announced approximately 12 hours prior to the launch.

For more information, please contact Bob Riddle (816)525-6478 or Daniel Eichenbaum at (816)753-4199 or email info@darkmatterkc.com.  Additional information can also be found on the Dark Matter website http://www.darkmatterkc.com.

Dark Matter’s “Ascent” is supported in part by a Rocket Grant from the Charlotte Street Foundation (http://www.charlottestreet.org) and the KU Spencer Museum of Art (www.spencerart.ku.edu/), with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  The Dark Matter Ascent balloon is made possible with donations and technical expertise from The Astronomical Society of Kansas City (http://www.askc.org), Blue Valley CAPS Aerospace Engineering (http://www.bvcaps.org), The HMS Beagle (http://www.hms-beagle.com), ICSTARS Astronomy (http://www.icstars.com), Longview College Engineering Department (http://mcckc.edu/explore/campuses/longview/Welcome.asp), MakeKC (http://www.makekc.org), Moonglow Technologies (http://www.moonglowtech.com), Sunex (http://www.superfisheye.com), and Union Station (http://www.unionstation.org).

About Dark Matter

Hailed by KC Metropolis as a “successful, fun mix of art and science” and by the Kansas City Star as “interesting, relaxing, stimulating and refreshing,” Dark Matter is a collaboration of composers, performers, and scientists.  It fuses cutting-edge technology with exceptional musical artistry.  The result is an art form that blurs the boundaries among performance, education, and composition.

Dark Matter seeks to inspire and educate its audiences.  Through music, visual projection, and interactive lecture/discussion, Dark Matter addresses the interrelationships between science and the arts along with the impact of technology on society.  This inter-disciplinary approach helps audiences understand the passion of science and the logic of art.  The goal is to show how science and the arts function together in a mutually beneficial relationship.

For Immediate Release

September 15, 2011

Event Title:                         Ascent Balloon Launch

Location:                              To be announced on the Dark Matter website 12 hours prior to launch

Event Date & Time:         Early morning on October 1st or 2nd (weather permitting)

Ticket Price:                        FREE

More Information:          http://www.darkmatterkc.com

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