studioKCA designs a comet for NASA using steel water and light studioKCA designs a comet for NASA using steel water and light
sep 30, 2015

studioKCA designs a comet for NASA using steel water and light

studioKCA designs a comet for NASA using steel water and light
all images courtesy of studiokca




a few months ago, the world science festival, NASA’s jet propulsion lab, and ESA, asked studioKCA‘s jason klimoski and lesley chang to create an installation to celebrate the ‘rosetta mission’, a mission to land a spacecraft with the dimensions of a dishwasher, on a comet the size of central park, nearly 400 million miles away from earth. the result is a 1:1000 scale concept of the comet’s nucleus and ion tail, just as its cratered surface begins to heat up in the sun, and starts bursting apart.

studiokca comet
the comet first landed in brooklyn and will be landing on some other sites 




jason, lesley and their team built half of the nucleus out of 67 folded steel plates, blackened and ‘cratered’, using a water jet cutter, hammers and torches. they installed the metal half into a pool to create the other half of the nucleus in reflection (some scientists believe comets are mostly ice, and through a collision with earth millenniums ago, water arrived to our planet). they wired the inside with 600 watts of LED’s and ran nearly 100 feet of copper tubes and micro misters to create the comet’s ion tail. the light and mist, reflected in the water and pouring out of the steel surface, creates what they imagine the nucleus might look like as it heats up.


video courtesy of studioKCA




studioKCA’s comet first landed at new york’s brooklyn bridge park and has been traveling to different sites all over the world for the last year. as the mission comes to an end in december 2015, the comet plans on a final landing at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california.

the piece measures 9’x12’x8’ and has a tail of mist and water 53’ long

studiokca comet
copper tubes and mist enhance the comet tail


video courtesy of studioKCA

studiokca comet
600 watts of LED lights illuminate the comet 

studiokca comet
by placing the comet on water, half of it is created through reflection

studiokca comet
aerial shot of manhattan, brooklyn and the comet

studiokca comet
the comet complements the manhattan skyline

studiokca comet
the LED lighting plus the mist recreate the rosetta mission

studiokca comet
the comet’s created surface is made out of 67 folded steel plates

studiokca comet
the comet’s surface reflection can be appreciated in the ion water tail



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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