This past week, Toy Art Gallery opened the Metallic Machinations show. While we shared several of Cris Rose's submissions to the show, his centerpiece is this Typus Orbis Terrarum custom. The 20" Mega Munny includes a working 4 planet orrery, built from scratch, under a 10" acrylic dome. The whole thing is motorized and free-standing.
Here's the background story:
Mars was chosen as the first body in the solar system where Terraform would be attempted. Smaller than earth and venus, but larger than mercury and closer than the moons of Jupiter. Mars was believed to have possessed an atmosphere in the resent past, so it was felt to be more of a restoration of the the planet, than an unnatural re-purposing. The project would take over a century, even at best estimates, but with the existing robotic infrastructure offered by the dozens of already established mars bases, construction of the atmospheric generators could be achieved on the planet itself using it's existing resources.
A prototype was developed and constructed on Earth, then tested extensively in vast sealed structures. Once perfected, the plans for the machines and those of the robots that would construct and maintain them, were sent to the red planet, along with a crew of human observers.
Typus Orbis Terrarum was made from the final generator prototype. At 250ft tall and weighing 10,000 tonnes, it stood almost as tall as Big Ben yet was 3 times as wide. Placed in London on the south bank of the Thames, it's internal workings were altered to take in vast volumes of the city air and purify it continuously. The recovered space within allowed for a glass-domed observation platform to be installed with a monument to robotic space exploration at it's centre. Symbolizing all the planets currently hosting a permanent robotic presence, the monument to science and engineering was also dedicated as a memorial to all the robots built for, and lost during, the missions that made these accomplishments possible.
Quid ei potest videri magna in rebus cui alter nitas omnis, totiusque mundi nota sit mangitudo? - Marcus Tullius Cicero
What in human achievement can seem vast to the one who understands eternity and the expanse of the universe?