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3D Crystal Sculptures

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with Seaena, has created a line of high quality crystal sculptures reflective of the wonderful subject matter of the Center's programs and exhibitions—which address human exploration of Earth and space.  Each sculpture is stunning 3D art fully contained inside solid crystal block, and created by laser at state-of-the-art resolution (see below).

Crystal Line 1, launched in November 2009, replicates the art contained in the Voyage Scale Model Solar System exhibitions
in front of the Smithsonian on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in Kansas City, Missouri, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Space Center Houston at NASA Johnson Space Center—the planets, dwarf planets, and moons portrayed at one 10-billionth actual size; and five dioramas that portray how we humans explore the nature of the greater universe.

Crystal Line 2, celebrates America's Space Shuttle Program. This crystal line was commissioned for the Center's Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), which saw 27 grade 5-12 student microgravity experiments fly on the final flights of Shuttles Endeavour (STS-134) and Atlantis (STS-135), and which were selected from 1,027 proposals submitted by student teams. SSEP is now an ongoing program on the International Space Station.

Read the stories behind the two Crystal Lines. They're sure to both fascinate .... and educate (which is what we're about!)
Crystal Line 1: Voyage National Program Crystal
New in 2010   Crystal Line 2: U.S. Space Shuttle Program
Voyager 2 Flyby of Neptune





















H
ow the Art is Created


The art is created using a computer-controlled laser that can be finely focused at a single point in space inside the solid crystal block. At the point of focus the energy density is great enough to cause a microscopic fracture—which serves as a pixel (a picture element). High resolution 3D structures that are fully contained in the crystal are created pixel by pixel by 'burning' one horizontal sheet of pixels at the bottom of the crystal block, and then 'burning' successive sheets one on top of the other.

The crystal sculptures are manufactured by Seaena, the fabricator for the crystal contained in the Voyage Scale Model Solar System exhibition.

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Jupiter and Earth keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
There Are Worlds to Explore, Jupiter and Earth Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing the planets Jupiter and Earth laser-sculpted in 3D—at exactly one 10-billionth actual size—as they are depicted in the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A bright LED provides stunning illumination of the art in the crystal.

Be part of the
Voyage National Program, and put the experience of our world in a greater space right in your pocket.
Saturn and Earth keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
There Are Worlds to Explore, Saturn and Earth Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing the planets Saturn and Earth laser-sculpted in 3D—at exactly one 10-billionth actual size—as they are depicted in the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A bright LED provides stunning illumination of the art in the crystal.

Be part of the
Voyage National Program, and put the experience of our world in a greater space right in your pocket.
Uranus and Earth keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
There Are Worlds to Explore, Uranus and Earth Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing the planets Uranus and Earth laser-sculpted in 3D—at exactly one 10-billionth actual size—as they are depicted in the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A bright LED provides stunning illumination of the art in the crystal.

Be part of the
Voyage National Program, and put the experience of our world in a greater space right in your pocket.
Neptune and Earth keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
There Are Worlds to Explore, Neptune and Earth Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing the planets Neptune and Earth laser-sculpted in 3D—at exactly one 10-billionth actual size—as they are depicted in the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A bright LED provides stunning illumination of the art in the crystal.

Be part of the
Voyage National Program, and put the experience of our world in a greater space right in your pocket.
Inner Planets keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
There Are Worlds to Explore, Inner Planets Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing the inner planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars laser-sculpted in 3D—at exactly one 10-billionth actual size—as they are depicted in the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. A bright LED provides stunning illumination of the art in the crystal.

Be part of the
Voyage National Program, and put the experience of our world in a greater space right in your pocket.
Space Shuttle Over Earth keychain shown illuminated with built-in LED
Space Shuttle Illuminated Keychain
Our Price: $19.95

An illuminated keychain in crystal and chrome containing a 3D laser-sculpted Space Shuttle above Earth, with cargo bay doors open and RMS arm deployed. 

Commissioned for the Center's Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP), the purchase of this keychain helps support thousands of grade 5-12 students designing real microgravity experiments to fly in low Earth orbit, first on the final two flights of the Space Shuttle (STS-134 and STS-135) and then routinely on the International Space Station.
Crystal sculpture with 10 worlds, shown illuminated with Medium Light Base
There Are Worlds to Explore, Medium 3D Crystal Sculpture
Our Price: $44.99

A medium-sized crystal sculpture containing 10 of the 25 worlds found in the Voyage model Solar System exhibition permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in communities across the U.S. Eight planets and two dwarf planets are laser-sculpted in 3D inside solid crystal at one 10-billionth actual size, exactly as they appear in the Voyage exhibition. Be part of the Voyage National Program, and order a Solar System of your very own! And if you want to think really BIG, you might want to explore permanent placement of a Voyage exhibition in YOUR community!
Crystal sculpture with 25 worlds, shown illuminated with Large Light Base
There Are Worlds to Explore, Large 3D Crystal Sculpture
Our Price: $99.99

A large crystal sculpture containing all 25 worlds found in the Voyage model Solar System exhibition permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in communities across the U.S. Eight planets, two dwarf planets, and 15 moons are laser-sculpted in 3D inside solid crystal at one 10-billionth actual size, exactly as they appear in the Voyage exhibition. Be part of the Voyage National Program, and order a Solar System of your very own! And if you want to think really BIG, you might want to explore permanent placement of a Voyage exhibition in YOUR community!
Crystal sculpture of the Gemini Observatory atop Mauna Kea, Big Island of Hawai'i
How We Explore, Gemini Observatory, Large 3D Crystal Sculpture
Our Price: $99.99

A stunning crystal sculpture of the Gemini North telescope near the top of 13,800-foot (4,200 meter) Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Shown in exquisite detail are the open observatory dome, the telescope within, and tiny people on the summit to scale. This art was originally commissioned by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for inclusion in the Explorers Stanchion of the Voyage model Solar System in Kansas City, Kansas. The Explorers Stanchion is located in front of Kansas City's historic Union Station. One of the largest telescopes on Earth, we chose the Gemini North Observatory as a shining example of how we humans explore a greater universe from the surface of our home world Earth. On behalf of the human race, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TEAM GEMINI!
The Hubble Space Telescope in low Earth orbit peers into space
How We Explore, Hubble Space Telescope, Large 3D Crystal Sculpture
Our Price: $99.99

In 2010, Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Hubble in Orbit
A national treasure, the Hubble Space Telescope has dramatically altered both the depth and breadth of knowledge concerning our Solar System, our galaxy, and the universe. Its images are breathtaking and humbling, and its accomplishments are known by billions of humans on planet Earth. We should take pride in the human capacity to build such an exquisite instrument of exploration. This art was originally commissioned by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for inclusion in the Explorers Stanchion of the Voyage model Solar System in Kansas City, Kansas. The Explorers Stanchion is located in front of Kansas City's historic Union Station.
This beautiful crystal sculpture captures HST in low Earth orbit, peering into the depths of space.