San Francisco Ocean Film Festival – "Space Flight Dolphin – the art of SETI", originally uploaded by oceanfilmfest.
Space Flight Dolphin is a life-sized “inflatable dolphin sculpture/satellite by the space artist Richard Clar. The sculpture/satellite will be made from a memory alloy that springs into shape when heated by the sun.
It will transmit a magnetic signal “modulated by dolphin ‘voices'” [Clar’s quotes] in an attempt to communicate with extra-terrestrial intelligence. Also, “as the sculpture/satellite orbits the Earth, the dolphin voices will be monitored in various museums around the world, providing a link between different people and cultures on our own planet.”
Near as I can tell, Space Flight Dolphin was conceived in 1982, and was approved by NASA for inclusion in its special payload program in 1986. Which is the same year Star Trek IV came out. So if anyone copied anyone, it was Star Trek.
This still is from an animated short which was screened last year at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival.