MoonArk is the life of light, singing to the moon in all its glorious rays, an artistic inspiringly homage to the moon where it becomes a Cultural Heritage Site that anticipates the journey of humanity into luminous outer space.
From the ” small stage that is earth,” consider the life of light that shines through the entire MoonArk, a pentagonal structure comprised of four independent but interrelated exoskeletal chambers: Earth, Metasphere, Moon, and Ether. The conceptual structure for the chambers describes a narrative of outward progression–a journey or quest in classic narrative style of leaving home, journeying toward a goal, achieving the goal, and then journeying onward rather than returning home.
The sculpture will be shuttled to the moon from Cape Kennedy in 2016 on an Astrobotic Robotic Lunar mission aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket, and exist there for potentially billions of years. It contains elements representing all the Arts and Humanities (art, architecture, design, music, drama, ballet, and poetry) –all engaging the most advanced sciences, engineering, technologies, and material science–from the nano- and micro- scales, to the infinite scales including ever ongoing deep space radio-wave transmissions.
The MoonArk is comprised of four independently themed chambers. Each chamber encloses an elaborate composition of platinum-etched sapphire disks, hyper-colored metal murals, minerals and biological samples, and micro payloads such as nano art and 1mm microchips, and an array of artifacts that provide a contemporary view of humanity at the time of launch. In some ways, each chambers serves as a time capsule; yet in other ways, they collectively provide a non-encyclopedic synthesis of the many dimensions of being human.
The four aluminum exoskeletal chambers have a cross-sectional pentagonal design. The pentagonal structure has geometric relation to the icosahedron, whose shape is representative of phytoplankton, basic life forms of our oceans – and contained within the Earth Chamber. Each facet of the exoskeleton is based on the proportions and ratios of the golden triangle, demonstrating universal geometries of organic structures. Each chamber is comprised of a three-part assembly including interlocking left and right halves and a cap that provides a mounting to the Moon lander deck.
Chamber 1: Earth
In the Earth Chamber, we see a section of our planet’s surface (a slice of a 42mm diameter sphere proportional to the 9.5mm Moon in the third chamber) at the bottom of the sculpture. Its volume is described with lines of latitude and longitude angled so that the central line of the stacked sculpture is also the Lunar Orbital Plane. The planet volume is surrounded with a trumpet-shaped segment of the Earth/Moon gravity well. Several ballistic parabolas describe human flight; beautiful arcs never quite escaping gravity’s pull. A single contrasting arc describes a successful orbit of the Earth and transfer orbit into a lunar trajectory. The diamond in this chamber is mounted in the hub of the bottom diamond disk, reflecting our starting point as well as the persistence of our Earth-bound nature.
Chamber 2: Metasphere
In the Metasphere Chamber, the lunar flight path passes through the Lagrange point. A Lagrange point is a position in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be part of a constant-shape pattern with two larger objects. In other words, they are points where forces are balanced and an object finds a stable orbit. The portion of the sculpture in this chamber is simple and symmetrical, with the diamond and setting providing the focal point.
Chamber 3: Moon
In the Moon Chamber, the flight-path reaches lunar orbit, and then lands at the pole (where the rover will land to look for water). The Moon is depicted with a 9.5mm sphere modeled in wire. Like the Earth, it is tilted according to the Lunar Orbital Plane. Using the Moon as a base, multiple flight paths depart the Moon heading out of the Earth/Moon neighborhood. The diamond is set in the center of the wire-frame sphere representing the Moon; our first destination, and departure point for greater exploration.
Chamber 4: Ether
In the Ether Chamber, the flight paths from the Moon divide and cross the empty space within the chamber, separating and exiting “through” the top diamond disk. The diamond will be mounted just below the top disk, to mark humanity’s departure from our own backyard. It marks our progression as a spacefaring species, not limited by the effects of gravity or our own imaginations.