Constellation Columbia, i-DAT

Constellation Columbia (prototype), i-DAT, 2003
Constellation Columbia (prototype), i-DAT, 2003

A kinetic architectural model and prototype for a self-orientating robotic monument to lost astronauts

i-DAT (Institute of Digital Art & Technology) designed this kinetic architectural model and prototype for a monument designed to operate in zero gravity was taken for testing in
parabolic flight. The piece was the first working model of monument for the lost astronauts of the Columbia shuttle disaster and others who have lost their lives in the pursuit of human spaceflight.

This was small model consisted of 6 card cubes or modules each with a different function connected by a wire and plastic umbilical cord. Using simple domestic technologies, gyros and mercury tilt switches, it was designed to rotate around itself reconfiguring its shape in the air. The variable quality of zero gravity and backward ‘drift’ in the aircraft (1 meter over 30 seconds of zero gravity) hampered the model’s operation. It is hoped that it will be possible to produce a model for a future flight that is more compatible with parabolic flight.