The concept for ALMA da AGUA or “Soul of the Water,” an interdisciplinary art-in-space collaboration between Richard Clar of Art Technologies and Dinis Ribeiro of Companhia Espacial Portuguesa, Lda., began in 2000. Since then, for various reasons including economic and political, part of the objectives and methodology of ALMA da AGUA have changed.
The ALMA da AGUA water “sculpture” begins with the gathering of natural source water samples from the eight Portuguese-speaking countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guiné-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, and East Timor. These individual water samples, carried into space onboard a sounding rocket in a liquid mixing apparatus, will be exposed to low-gravity, and eight drops of water will be propelled simultaneously toward each other in order to mix the waters and generate a stable water sphere.
From a 2012 perspective, the sounding rocket flight that will carry the ALMA da AGUA payload will in all likelihood originate from a joint venture among private companies engaged in technology development, exploring very advanced concepts that are not yet part of mainstream research.
Dinis Afonso Ribeiro