Project Adrift

A sound installation, an interactive experience, and a documentary film (Cath Couteur & Nick Ryan)

By The Space

Space Junk (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

Project Adrift

Adrift reveals the hidden and growing world of man-made debris floating in space. Created by filmmaker and Sundance Award recipient Cath Le Couteur and audio specialist and BAFTA winner Nick Ryan, the project reveals the intangible world of space junk.  

Cath Le Couter and Nick Ryan (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

The project seeks to capture the secret world of space junk, making it personal, visible and audible.

Vanguard Image in Orbit by Project AdriftThe Space

It takes the form of a sound installation (Listen), an interactive experience (Adopt), and a documentary film (Watch).

Man looking at Machine Nine (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space


Machine Nine with a bust of man on a plinth (2016)The Space

'Machine 9' is a handcrafted electromechanical sound instrument that tracks the positions of 27,000 pieces of space junk.

It transforms the junk into sound, in real time, as they pass overhead.

Machine Nine Sequence V4 (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

Here is a short video demonstrating Machine 9 in action as well as interviews with the Project Adrift team.

Vanguard Image in Orbit by Project AdriftThe Space


Fengyun in Space image (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

Audiences could engage with 3 different pieces of real-life space junk: "Vanguard", "Fengyun" and "Suitsat".

Suitsat in space image (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

They would communicate their position and 'thoughts' live from space via three Twitter accounts.

Fengyun Twitter Feed Video (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space


Suitsat (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

Furthermore in separate videos, voiced by actors, the debris spoke directly to the audience of how they became to be space junk, their thoughts on the impact of the debris and hopes for the future.

Chilean Astronomers (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space


Astronaut Pier Sellers in space (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

The "Watch" section of the project was realised by the short documentary Adrift. It explores the troubling, beautiful, dangerous and fascinating world of space junk.

Project Adrift (2016) by Project AdriftThe Space

Credits: Story

Project Adrift was created through a collaboration between filmmaker Cath Le Couteur and composer and sound artist Nick Ryan.

Scientific Advisor: Prof Hugh Lewis, University of Southampton

Project Adrift credits in full:

Credits: All media
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