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Memory Chain: A Pas de Deux of Artifact

Memory Chain: A Pas de Deux of Artifact


Gold chain

MIT Space exploration Initiative

Memory Chain humanizes a portion of early spaceflight history. Throughout civilization, stories of origin were passed down orally, with some ultimately being transcribed. As a sculptor, I believe that artifacts are imbued with object memory, and are a part of our societal heritage. Having items that daily bore witness to the development of lunar technologies experience the particular gravity they originally planned for, brings their narrative full circle. Inside a lunar gravity pocket, I included two segments of delicate gold chain, one from my grandfather’s tie clip and the other from my grandmother’s watch- both part of their daily professional dress. My grandfather was an Aerospace Engineer, developing engine and chemical propulsions in support of lunar spacecraft missions. He met my grandmother at NASA, where they both worked and fell in love. During orbit, the chains "danced”- retelling the story of my grandparents’ work romance amidst the Space Race.

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:

Memory Chain: A Pas de Deux of Artifact




Kat Quay



This work is part of the following collection:

Sojourner 2020

Gold chain



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


Kat Quay



Kat Quay


Sojourner 2020


Sojourner 2020


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