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Elon Musk’s rocket to hold world’s first space sculpture this autumn

The world’s first space sculpture will orbit the Earth for three weeks this autumn – but can only be seen four times a night. 

Named, the Orbital Reflector, the installation is the length of a football field and will be launched on one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. 

In the shape of an elongated diamond, it will be seen floating around the planet once every 90 minutes, 350 miles from the surface. 

The satellite will be visible in Britain about four times a night as the sun reflects off its shiny surface.  

It was created by US artist, Trevor Paglen, whose work seeks to highlight mass surveillance and data protection.

He wants people to consider their place in the universe when looking up at the night sky. 

The new work, is a reflective, inflatable sculpture affixed to a small satellite that will orbit the earth for several weeks before disintegrating upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Mr Paglen said it is ‘extremely unlikely that it will collide with anything else’ in the sky. 

‘It’ll look like one of the stars in the Big Dipper but slowly moving across the sky,’ he Paglen told The Telegraph. 

‘It will be in what’s called a sun-synchronous orbit, and will slowly fall to earth from there, eventually burning up harmlessly as it gets close to earth.’   

It will be launched by SpaceX from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at the end of October. 

Back on Earth, people wanting to see it will be able to put their location into a ‘star map’ on the website to find out when Orbital Reflector will fly over.

Mr Paglen said he wanted to highlight how many satellites are circling the Earth.

It isn’t the first time he has sent a work of art into space. Previously he launched ‘The Last Pictures’ a collection of 100 images intended to represent human history onto a geostationary satellite in 2012.

Orbital Reflector is co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art. An early prototype of the artwork currently hangs in the museum.