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Abiogenetic Triptych

Abiogenetic Triptych


inorganic salts – copper sulfate and potassium ferricyanide

MIT Space exploration Initiative

Abiogenetic Triptych is a work-in-progress reflection on the divergent possibilities that protocells, though to be the chemical proto-origins of life, could have taken without the rule of gravity governing bio-chemical evolution. At each gravity level of Sojouner 2020 different ratios of inorganic salts – copper sulfate and potassium ferricyanide – are mixed together after launch to form protocell compounds. The resulting precipitate membranes, formed under conditions of differing osmotic pressures and differing gravities, will give a glimpse of how the first inklings of life may have formed under these interstellar conditions. Upon return to earth, the precipitate morphology and material characteristics will be used as prompts for synthetic cell designs and imaginary creatures. 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.

Technical information:

Artwork name:

Abiogenetic Triptych




Andrea S. Ling


USA, Canada

This work is part of the following collection:

Sojourner 2020

inorganic salts – copper sulfate and potassium ferricyanide



1 x 1.2 cm



IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

SpaceX CRS-20 (Dragon), Flacon 9

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station



Launch location:

SLC40 - Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launch date:

7 Mar 2020

Orbit / space location:

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

Return vehicle:

SpaceX Dragon

End date:

6 April 2020



Client / Agency:

MIT Space exploration Initiative


Andrea S. Ling

Architect, artist, researcher

USA, Canada

Andrea S. Ling


Sojourner 2020


Sojourner 2020


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