Edward Tufte is the guy who summed up the field of information design in one amazing book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. He's also a sculptor, and last year conceived this behemoth scrap steel piece, called Rocket Science. This is the giant nose of it. Want to see the rest?

Tufte says:

Rocket Science is ~32 feet (10 meters) high and ~72 feet (22 meters) long, and is constructed from ~48,000 pounds (22,000 kilograms) of rusting scrap steel . . . The RS symmetry about a central axis combined with the crew headquarters in a capsule at the top is likely the best design for space vehicles (Apollo, and the new post-Shuttle generation of space vehicles carrying humans—Constellation, Ares, Orion). Such symmetry is contrary to the design of the current Shuttle (with its pretend airplane) that has contributed to its chronic difficulties. Better also to place the crew at the top end of the rocket, in front of the launch debris-shower in an unromantic capsule (no landings by astronaut commanders) as is the case for Apollo and the forthcoming Orion/Ares. Thus, RS has the symmetric architecture for the vehicles of the future but RS is crudely assembled, amateur rocket science.

Here's a picture of Mike Nitowski, the welder who implemented Tufte's design, looking like a hot commie worker.


And here's the extremely cool shadow cast by the rocket, which Tufte says he'd hoped for, but was surprised by anyway.