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Cosmic dancer

By Andrew Impey

You might think that the international space station would be a stark, bleak and metallic vessel, as desolate and sanitary as a lavatory in a morgue, but you’d be wrong. It seems even astronauts have time for a bit of culture in their lives.

Pieces of art are regularly flown into space to be exhibited and appreciated. One such sculpture, called the Cosmic Cancer, was sent to the Mir space station in 1993 to “investigate both the properties of sculpture in weightlessness and the advantages of integrating art into the living and working environment” – just a small dose of cosmic pretence then.

In 2003, Australian artist Stephen Little had artwork entitled ‘Monochrome (for Mars)’ on board NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER). On January 3rd 2004 the spacecraft Spirit made a perfect landing in the Gusev Crater complete with the DVD storing Mr. Little’s masterpiece. The London-based artist couldn’t quell his artist flair when interviewed by claiming that he was limited by the medium available. Despite being centre stage on Mars, some people are just never happy.

Back to Top Ten Things Sent Into Space


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08 Oct 2010
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