In 2021, Carnegie Mellon University is sending the first museum to the Earths Moon aboard an Astrobotic lunar lander. Our project, called “The MoonArk,” is a gift of life and hope to future humans embodied by all the arts, enlarging the lunar mission to ponder how the Moon stirs the tides, the growth patterns of life, the rhythms of society, and how the Moon always continues to pull us further into the heavens.



The MoonArk project is led by Mark Baskinger (design professor at CMU) and Lowry Burgess (emeritus professor from CMU) with Matt Zywica (design professor at CMU), Dylan Vitone(design professor at CMU), Andrew Twigg (design professor at CMU), and Mark Rooker (metalcrafts professor at James Madison University). The project involves 18 universities and organizations, 61 team members, and 250 contributing artists, designers, educators, scientists, choreographers, poets, writers and musicians.




The MoonArk is a highly collaborative and massively integrated sculpture that poetically sparks wonderment through the integration of the arts, humanities, sciences, and technologies. Comprised of four independent 2”h x 2”dia chambers and weighing a combined total of 8 ounces, it contains hundreds of images, poems, music, nano-objects, mechanisms, and earthly samples intertwined through complex narratives that blur the boundaries between worlds seen and unseen. It is designed to direct our attention from the Earth outward, into the cosmos and beyond and reflect back to Earth as an endless dialogue that speaks to our context within the universe.




The launch is targeted for early 2021.

We’re headed to the Lacus Mortis crater – “Lake of Death”, is a plain of basaltic lava flows in the northeastern part of the Moon where it can last for thousands of years.



As humanity spreads outward into the universe (Lunar Orbital Platform- Gateway project) and we extend our reach into Deep Space, we question the messages we’re projecting out and traces of humanity we leave behind. More concretely, our project, as cultural payload on the lander is aimed at positioning the lander architecture as a cultural object rather than space junk that is left behind after the 2-week mission. As a reflective piece, we hope to inspire people to look upwards and outwards to contemplate their existence within the universe – with an expanded space-time viewpoint.




See Nano size art going to Earth’s Moon. MoonArk team has very special Wentzscope slides made to view Nano sized MoonArk art.  


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