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The artist Jeff Koons is due to send 125 sculptures to the moon this week on a rocket made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company. The Jeff Koons: Moon Phases Project project, which was first announced in 2022, was scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today but is now due to take place 15 February.

Koons’s sculptures are on board a lunar lander known as Nova C (Odysseus), developed by the private American company Intuitive Machines which plans to launch the lander to the moon atop a Falcon 9 rocket designed by Musk’s SpaceX.

“The lander will be carrying Koons’s 125 one-inch miniature Moons sculptures, each representing a phase of the Moon and each associated with people from various fields and time periods who have made a significant impact to human life on Earth, such as Mozart, Galileo, Cleopatra, and Leonardo da Vinci, to name a few,” according to a project statement. “Those Moons will be the very first authorised artworks placed on the Moon.”

Koons posted on X (formerly known as Twitter): “Just a couple hours away from the launch at 1am EST Feb 14 of my artworks Moon Phases on Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 mission. The images capture the Nova-C lunar lander being encapsulated on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. I am honoured to have the first authorised artwork on the Moon.” Forbesreports that technical issues prompted SpaceX to postpone take off which is now scheduled for 1:05 am Eastern Standard Time on the 15th.

The moon landing initiative has been developed by the scientist and designer Chantelle Baier, the chief executive of 4SPACE company, who collaborated with Koons on creating the 125 unique sculptures, each consisting of three components—“a one inch in diameter sculpture that will be installed on the Moon in perpetuity, a larger 15.5 inch replica that will stay on Earth and an NFT photograph of the one-inch sculptures on the Moon,” adds the project statement.

Alongside this planned lunar expedition, Koons also released his first group of NFTs with Pace Gallery as part of the project Jeff Koons: Moon Phases.

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