We’ve all had them, big daydreams and aspirations as kids. Whether it was to be a singer, doctor, or even an astronaught we didn’t put limits on them or our capabilities to reach them. Now imagine you are a 16-year-old photographer, and you just received a call that your images are so outstanding, a company wants to launch a Printique print you made into space. Wait, what? Trust us, this story is a worth the read and worth the share. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee, here is Richard Zheng’s out of this world story.
Ever since I was little, the stars have been a constant in my life. My dad and I used to watch them every night before bed. I’d lie there, looking up, telling him about my dream of going to space, of seeing what lies beyond our sky. Those moments were simple but they meant everything to me.
In 2019, when I was 12 years old, my parents took me to the Kennedy Space Center. Walking among those massive rockets and shuttles, I knew right then that space wasn’t just a far-off dream; it was something I could actually reach for.
But life isn’t always a smooth ride. The pandemic hit us hard. Stuck at home, everything felt uncertain and heavy. My family struggled, and it seemed like there was this constant tension in the air. I felt alone, caught in the middle of it all, with nowhere to really turn to.
That’s when I started to find my escape in the stars again. During a trip to Joshua Tree, I saw the Milky Way for the first time. It was this incredible, sprawling canvas across the sky. That night, something clicked. I picked up my camera and started shooting. Capturing those stars, I felt like I was holding a piece of the universe in my hands. Photography became more than a hobby; it became my life.
Now, exactly five years later, one of my photographs is in space thanks to the Axiom Space 3 mission on the SpaceX Falcon 9. It’s kind of surreal. Those stars that were my escape during tough times, that reignited my passion for photography, are now part of this huge project. It’s like everything’s come full circle.
(16 x 24 Printique Metal Print, White, Glossy Finish)
This isn’t just about launching a photo into space. It’s sending a piece of my journey to limits I never thought was possible. And thanks to Printique, I was able to bring my photograph to life. What was once hung in my room, will now go to space. And everytime I look at it in the future, I’ll be reminded that anything is possible.
I was often told that the sky’s the limit. But I’ve come to realize that the sky’s not the limit – it’s our imagination.
Thank you Richard. Here are the details of the actual space launch. Richard ordered a 16×24 Printique Metal Print of his “Infinity” print for his personal gallery. He then ordered a smaller matte print of it to send to space. He is one of eight artists that was chosen to have their art work launched into space. He partnered with Axiom Space, a private space company, and launched his Printique printed photo “Infinity”, to space on their AX-3. Axiom Mission 3. This is a private space flight to the ISS on Space X’s Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon Spacecraft. The mission took place January 18th 2024 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Richard also stopped by the Printique Photo Lab to see exactly how his print was made. From the sublimation to the heat press to the final result – a beautiful metal print.
To see more of Richard’s work, you can check out his Instagram HERE.