The cover story in this month’s issue of National Geographic explores how origami, a centuries-old art of paper folding, is being put to use to blaze new trails in science and technology, particularly in space exploration. Highlighting the artistic elements of a project purely rooted in science can be difficult, but photographer Craig Cutler was up for the challenge.
The vision for the cover came to him immediately: an aerial photograph of NASA’s golden starshade prototype—an origami-inspired spacecraft that the agency hopes will someday help them detect signs of life in the universe.
“People looking at the image may have no idea what it is, and it’s almost like a teaser to the whole story,” Cutler says. “It’s