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Billions of years of life, science and history in the palm of your hand!  Curated, handcrafted, and artfully arranged for display and wonder!
Billions of years of life, science and history in the palm of your hand! Curated, handcrafted, and artfully arranged for display and wonder!
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5,030 backers pledged $1,226,811 to help bring this project to life.

Production Update: Specimens Complete! A Peek Inside the Companion Guide, Curiosity Mars Celebrates Two Years, Rosetta Probe Achieves Orbit

Posted by Hans Fex (Creator)

Hello, everyone!

It's been a busy few weeks, but I'm happy to report that all specimens are complete on schedule! The image below shows the specimens in their working containers. The actual prepared specimens are inside, packaged in various ways according to the nature of the material.

Looking over the full collection, I can't help but feel an immense sense of gratitude for all of the assistance I received to reach this stage of the project. We still have a long way to go, but this milestone is a big one and shared by many.

Now, I'm moving on to preparing for production. If everything goes well, mini museums should begin shipping at the end of September.

I very much look forward to sharing pictures of mini museum #1!

A Peek Inside the Companion Guide

In the last update, I mentioned that I would share a few spreads from inside the companion guide and here they are!

The electronic version of the companion guide will be released when we are ready to ship the first mini museums. Backers who purchased the printed version will receive their booklets along with their pledge shipment.

I am very happy with the way the companion guide turned out. The illustrations I commissioned for certain specimens look great, and there are a few surprises as well which I hope everyone will enjoy.

Curiosity Mars Celebrates Two Years

This week marks the two year anniversary of NASA's JPL Curiosity Mars Rover's arrival on our nearest planetary neighbor. So, it seems fitting to share a few pictures of the process of preparing Mars for the mini museum.

There are several meteorites in the mini museum, and each and every one presented different challenges. With Mars, the material was quite porous and required several rounds of special preparation before getting down to working on the individual specimens. Given the fragile nature of the material, the new microscope I have turned out to be incredibly helpful.

In the image below, one can see the work surface after I've been working for awhile. The grains under the microscope are discards from initial preparations:

Below you will see finished specimens in the sorting tray.

After many hours, work like this adds up and eventually one has a container with a few thousand specimens!

One may think that lunar rock would be about the same, but that was another adventure I'll save for a different update. :)

Rosetta Probe Achieves Orbit

Today, the European Space Agency's Rosetta Probe went into orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was discovered in 1969 by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko. The comet orbits the Sun every 6.5 years.

The arrival of the Rosetta Probe is a tremendous milestone for science and space exploration. It represents the culmination of a 10 year journey and will capped by landing a probe on the surface of the comet itself.

As I begin this new phase of the project, I am greatly inspired by these images. They remind me that persistence and care are required to achieve any goal.  The key is to keep working day in and day out. Speaking of which, now it's back to work!

- Hans

Jamie Grove, Jen, and 60 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Mandy Nagel on

      I'm curious when the first mini museums are scheduled to ship. I know things are tracking behind schedule right now but I don't recall seeing an update on when we might expect to receive our items in a while.

    2. Missing avatar

      Daniel Fajardo on

      Of all the projects I have funded these are the updates I enjoy the most. The guide looks great. I appreciate the effort you put in to keep us informed.

    3. Stéphanie Colle on

      Thank you Hans for another wonderful update. The Companion Guide looks amazing. I can't wait for all this goodness to show up in my mailbox. Thank you again.

    4. Missing avatar

      Hallie Smith on

      I'm wondering where the t-shirt is that was promised for June. I also ordered a piece of amber..Hallie Smith

    5. Bruno Desclee on

      Hum, this update is making me even more impatient ! :-)
      The Guide seems to be wonderful !
      Thanks for your hard work, Hans !


    6. Lorenzo Gallus on

      The Companion Guide looks awesome! :D

    7. Missing avatar

      Olivier J on

      Hans, again and again I am reminded by your updates how amazing this project is. Thank you!

    8. Donna Hill on

      Hans, I am so very excited at the progress and look forward to my own mini museum. Wish I could have afforded the large one for all the cool specimens (and the mystery item) nonetheless, I will be thrilled to hold it in my hands! The book looks like it will be fanastic!

    9. Missing avatar

      Lauren L Corbin on

      Hans, have to agree with Gale. Each email you share gets me more excited about this project. Your pure joy of discovery is exuded through these updates and is infectious. I can't wait to see it all, read the wonderful book, learn and share. I am humbled to be part of your journey. Feel like a better vantage than behind the scenes at the Smithsonian. Thank you. You rock! (No pun intended!)

    10. Chris Howe on

      Thank you Hans & co! I am getting very excited to see the final product!
      And the book looks great too!
      Well done.

    11. Missing avatar

      Gale Lee on

      Each update gets me more and more excited. I can hardly wait for each one to appear...although I 'm not a little kid, this project makes me feel like one

    12. Patrick Brice on

      Congrats on completing such a huge amount of work!

    13. Ian Hennes on

      Great update! So awesome to see all specimens prepared. The book looks amazing. I love the small inlay photos of the small specimen bits. I'm looking forward to receiving this final product more than I can explain.

    14. Missing avatar

      Andrew Kaplan on

      This kickstarter has the best updates! The companion guide is looking great.