This is the amazing story of how a century old Constructivist sculpture became a NASA landing vehicle. This summer, NASA will unveil the latest prototype of a moon landing craft designed on tensegrity principles.The structure of the craft is formed with six separate compressive struts held in space with tensile cables and it appears uncannily similar to a 1920 sculpture by Latvian constructivist, Karlis Johansons.
The similarity is not coincidental: a direct line of intellectual heritage can be traced back almost a century to the Obmokhu exhibition, Moscow, where Johansons and 4 other young constructivists exhibited in 1921.
Presently, NASA researchers Vytas SunSpiral and Adrian Agogino are developing the lander as a deformable volume, capable of being dropped without air-bags onto low-gravity moons. Inspiration came to Sunspiral when he observed the compression of his child’s tensegrity toy as it fell to the ground.
The original “Skwish” tensegrity toy has acheived…
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