Through the ages, artists, writers, and filmmakers have always been inspired by space. Artists’ visionary depictions of space as an environment for people have influenced the scientific and engineering feats we know so well today. How will artists continue to inspire the future of space exploration? What are the opportunities and challenges in the creation of art for space, and art depicting space and space technologies? In 2019, the Space Exploration Initiative announced an open call to invite artists to submit artworks for an exciting ISS launch opportunity. After three rounds of reviews, nine groups of artists are selected to be on board Sojourner 2020, an international art payload.
Sojourner 2020 (a 1.5U size unit, 100mm x 100mm x 152.4mm ) will be launched into low Earth orbit for about 30 days. It features a three-layer telescoping structure which creates three different “gravities”: zero gravity, lunar gravity, and Martian gravity. Each layer of the structure rotates independently. The top layer remains still in weightlessness, while the middle and bottom layers spin at different speeds to produce centripetal accelerations that mimic lunar gravity and Martian gravity, respectively. Each layer carries 6 pockets that can hold projects.