Rosetta Philae spacecraft, launched by the European Space Agency in 2004, reached the comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014. One of the aims of the mission was to analyze the chemical composition of the comet in order to support the hypothesis that life on earth would have appeared thanks to the contribution of cometary materials. Some scientists state that comets, made of carbon, might have provided the organic raw material necessary for life to emerge.
The sculpture-architecture built on the tarmac of the Air and Space Museum in Paris-Le Bourget is inspired by the specific shape of "Tchouri" (the comet’s nickname). When penetrating in its interior, viewers can discover a cave dotted with glass sculptures produced using laboratory glassware techniques.
A video, also visible inside the comet, shows the research of the astrochemist Louis the Sergeant d’Hendecourt who tries to recreate in his lab the hypothetical conditions in which life on earth might have appeared. Synthesizing cometary matter, he submits it to various processes, attempting to transform the inanimate into the animate and to create elementary life forms. These views from d’Hendecourt’s lab are intertwined with alchemical imagery related to different phases of Magnum Opus.