The words “street art” and “International Space Station” don’t exactly seem to go together. One evokes images of DIY, countercultural expression, the other carefully planned, government-sanctioned engineering. Now, the arrival of Samantha Cristoforetti at the ISS has brought the two a bit closer together.
Gizmodo reports that the ISS now features a mosaic from anonymous French street artist Invader. But the creator of Space Invaders-themed mosaics wasn’t content to be seen in cities all over the world. In 2012, he used a weather balloon to launch a mosaic into the stratosphere. And last year, he managed to convince a friend at the European Space Agency to put a mosaic on ATV-5.
The artist notes that the mosaic “waited several months in zero gravity” for Cristoforetti, who found a permanent spot for it when she reached the ISS in November. It was a dream come true for Invader, who called the piece “Art, Science, space conquest: a great move!”
You can spot the mosaic above the hatch in a recent tweet:
Invader’s mosaic is part of a long tradition of art in space, from a fallen astronaut sculpture on the moon to a Damien Hirst dot painting that ended up on Mars. But it’s not the first time Space Invaders have been spotted in the heavens—in 2013, Hubble spotted an alien-like cluster of galaxies that looks suspiciously similar to the computer game’s evil invaders.