the only sculpture in space is sitting on the surface of the moon the only sculpture in space is sitting on the surface of the moon
dec 23, 2013

the only sculpture in space is sitting on the surface of the moon

the only sculpture in space is sitting on the surface of the moon
image courtesy of NASA




a tiny, man-like sculpture designed by belgian artist paul van hoeydonck sits on the dusty surface of the moon, effectively making the mammoth celestial body the largest exhibition space in the universe.  on aug. 2, 1971, commander david scott of apollo 15 planted ‘fallen man’, the 3 1/2-inch-tall aluminum figure — symbolically representing a fallen or deceased astronaut — into a shallow crater at the hadley-apennine landing site, a region on the near side of the moon where the fourth manned landing successfully took place. a commemorative plaque neighbors the small silhouette, in memorial of 14 NASA astronauts and USSR cosmonauts, now deceased. their names are inscribed in alphabetical order, and stuck in the lunar soil during the planetary surface extravehicular activity. the story of the sculpture, its creator, and how it wound up on a massive soujourn into space is imbued with rich historical context, and even some political scandal. to read more, take a look at slate magazine’s exposé here.


astronaut david r. scott standing on the slope of hadley delta, uses a camera during apollo 15 extravehicular activity on the lunar surface
image courtesy of NASA



‘fallen man’
image courtesy of vlaams parlement

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