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International Space Station

Photo: Two companies recently beamed a recording of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” to and from the International Space Station, minting the recording as a non‑fungible token (NFT). (Image credit: NASA) | The commercialization of the final frontier continues apace. | By Mike Wall, Space.com | Last week, the companies Nanoracks LLC and Artemis Music Entertainment teamed up to beam a recording of composer Claude Debussy’s piano masterpiece “Clair de Lune” (“Moonlight”) to and from the International Space Station.

Music has been sent to, and made on, the orbiting lab before. But the two companies minted this version of “Clair de Lune” as a non‑fungible token (NFT), making it the first music NFT to reach orbit, Artemis Music representatives said.

“The cosmic perspective of space inspires a cognitive shift in humans,” Artemis Music co‑founder Bob Richards said in a statement. “‘Clair de Lune’ perhaps comes as close as possible to stirring the emotions of awe and wonder experienced by space travelers.”

Debussy published “Clair de Lune” in 1905. The space‑flown version of the classic, which you can find here, was performed by Hong Kong‑based pianist Wing‑Chong Kam on July 19 of this year. On July 28, it was beamed from Nanoracks’ Houston headquarters to the company’s Bishop airlock on the International Space Station.

The digital file zoomed around Earth for about 90 minutes, completing one orbit in the process, before being transmitted back down and minted as an NFT, Artemis Music representatives said.

NFTs are pieces of data, stored in a digital ledger known as a blockchain, that represent unique assets C hence the “non‑fungible” part of the term. The last few months have seen a boom in NFT art sales, with some of these digital tokens selling for millions of dollars.

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Read more about Artemis and NFTs here:


Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]

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