Space Invaders

Inspired by the 1970s Space Invaders video game, a small and colourful mosaic has been found on the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

The French artist known as Invader has established his urban alien artwork in more than 60 cities all over the world, including Rome, Paris, New York, Manchester, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. In 2012 he sent a mosaic into the stratosphere on a balloon.

Following the invasion of Earth orbit, these space invaders have been spotted not only in the Space Station but also in ESA establishments all over Europe. The first invaders were seen at ESA’s astronaut centre in Cologne, Germany. More mosaics have been seen at ESA’s Redu Centre in Belgium, where satellites are controlled and tested as part of ESA’s ground station network.

Mission control believes Invader will organise more invasions and activate aliens at other ESA establishments throughout the year. Follow their progress on Twitter via #space2iss and #SpaceInvader.

Back in space, Samantha is planning to join forces with these pixellated artforms to inspire primary school children in using their imaginations for combining geometry, colours and mathematics into abstract minimalism.

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