Cosmic Icon #5 – Apollo 11

This is the fifth in a series of small box folk-craft style dioramas inspired by personal versions of religious “altar screens” sometimes seen in old Spanish missions in the US Southwest. These original works would be a shrine to a saint with decorative flourishes and symbols. I decided one could make these with a space exploration theme, as that subject is like a religion to some people. Each of my “Cosmic Icons” celebrates a space mission or related milestone. They are made from old cigar boxes, space toys, and foam board.

Published by

Michael Mackowski

Michael J. Mackowski is a spacecraft engineer who recently retired from Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona (formerly Orbital ATK). His main pastime is building scale models of historical spacecraft, then documenting the research in a series of books called Space In Miniature. He also dabbles in photography, water colors, pencil sketching, and acrylic painting. Mike is also an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA, where he is the current Chair of their History Committee and a former chair of the Phoenix Section), a charter member of the Planetary Society, a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the National Space Society and the International Plastic Modelers Society. Over the years, his passion for space exploration has led him to be an advocate for greater public awareness and support for America's reach for the stars. A short autobiography may be found at

Mike's most time-consuming hobby, however, is scale modeling. Through his career in the space industry, he had the good fortune to have access to a great deal of historical technical information on many different space projects. Combined with his interests in the history of these programs and building scale models of them, Mike has collected, collated, and distilled these engineering documents into the Space In Miniature series of reference books for model builders ( The information in these books includes colors, markings, and external details, which can serve as a reference for space artists as well.

Scale models he has built and written about include general space modeling, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the Soviet space program. Mike has also published articles for FineScale Modeler magazine on space topics and has given many public talks on space exploration. Mike was also the head judge for space and science fiction models for the annual national contest for the International Plastic Modelers Society from 1988 thru 2007.

This artwork is copyright © Michael Mackowski. All rights reserved.