Inspired by this question, I'm intrigued to learn what happened to the amazing props that were used in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Did they survive and where can I see them?

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  • 14
    They left them on the Moon.
    – Schwern
    Mar 26, 2017 at 18:56
  • 11
    @Schwern - So your contention is that Kurbrick didn't fake the moon landings, but he actually filmed on the moon, mocking it up to look like a sound stage at Shepperton Studios, London?
    – Valorum
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:09
  • 5
    They left them on Europa... attempt no landing there...
    – djm
    Aug 21, 2018 at 19:43
  • 1
    You can see one of the EVA pods in Star Wars: Episode 1 in Watto's Junkyard ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 21, 2018 at 19:46
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - Ah, but knowing Watto, it's probably a cheap knockoff rather than an original
    – Valorum
    Aug 21, 2018 at 20:06

4 Answers 4


At least some of the props did survive, and they can be seen in a Stanley Kubrick exhibition that's been touring the world for 13 years.

According to its web site, the exhibition is currently in Mexico City (until May 29, 2017). The next stop will be Copenhagen (September 23, 2017 to January 14, 2018).

The web site has a lot of photos, which show several exhibited items from 2001:

Space ship model and ape costume

Space suit


I rather think the monolith is not an original prop, but I believe the other items are.

  • I believe the Monolith is a replica
    – Valorum
    Mar 25, 2017 at 22:49
  • I think so too, if it were an original prop, it would be in a display case.
    – Ubik
    Mar 25, 2017 at 22:52
  • 3
    From what I've read, the original was wood with paint mixed with graphite. The paint itself was so shiny that it couldn't be touched without mucking it up (visibly) and needing a new coating.
    – Valorum
    Mar 25, 2017 at 22:53
  • Adam Savage contributed an incredible model of the labyrinth from the Shining to this exhibition. Jul 1, 2017 at 17:32
  • Nowadays the monolith would be painted in Vantablack: "Surrey NanoSystems also markets a line of non-nanotube sprayable paints known as Vantablack VBx that are even easier to apply." May 19, 2021 at 16:00

This one is a real shocker! Look where the space station ended up. http://www.refocusedmedia.com/post/115334062660/rare-look-at-an-abandoned-space-station-v-prop

Rare look at an abandoned Space Station V prop from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY that was supposed to be destroyed.

“I was at college in Stevenage (about 15 miles away from St Albans in the early 1970’s). Our studio, we were studying graphic art, faced the entrance to the local corporation dump. One afternoon in 1974 a truck turned up after the dump was closed & left some crates in the entrance way. They contained 2 of the models used in 2001, the space wheel & one of the pods. Of course they may not have been the only ones but I believe they were genuine (the film had been made about 20 miles away at Boreham Wood the old MGM studios). By the time I got there the pod had been taken, the space wheel damaged & taken out its wooden case. I took pictures of it, its surface had been covered with bits of old plastic construction kits to make it look more technical when filmed. I desperately wanted to take it home, but I only had a motor bike & a room 8 feet by 10 so it was not really workable. It was smashed up by kids a few days later.” - Trevor Parsons as relayed to Rod Munday at visual-memory.co.uk

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The Aries 1-B was auctioned off in 2017 to the Academy of Arts and Sciences for a quarter of a million dollars. My buddy Gene Kozicki took an in depth photo survey of the model when it was being authenticated at profiles in History. Here is a link to it: http://cinefex.com/blog/aries-1b/

Example excerpt:

As any Stanley Kubrick aficionado will tell you, it has long been legend that all the spaceship miniatures from Kubrick’s landmark science fiction film were destroyed after filming at the filmmaker’s request, to prevent recycling in cheap imitations.

But later

“Over the years, there were rumors that some of the models survived. In fact, the Aries 1B, along with the Orion Clipper (the ‘Pan-Am’ ship), and the Moonbus were thought to have been set aside for Kubrick to claim. But we’ve also ‘heard’ that the Moonbus was taken home by a crew member and eventually suffered an ignominious fate at the hands of that crew member’s son and some fireworks. And of course, there were the photos of Space Station V rotting in a field. The problem with all of this was that the only evidence we had as to the fate of the models were those photos – and those photos supported the ‘myth’ that everything had been destroyed. (Despite the fact there was no mention of any of the other models being in that same field.) Now that the Aries has shown up, obviously that lends at least some credence to some of the models being put to one side. (And if they were put to one side for Kubrick, how did the consignor get his hands on the Aries?)

  • An awesome find. You have my +1
    – Valorum
    Mar 22, 2018 at 7:46

He had the sets and props destroyed, as quoted in this article about the movie.

"Kubrick’s scientific consultant Frederick Ordway once revealed that Kubrick had almost all of the props for the film destroyed, because he didn’t want to ruin the illusion of 2001 for people — and, reportedly, so they wouldn’t wind up in future films."

Of course, a small percentage of props were not destroyed.

Most props sold online are actually fakes or replicas.

  • 1
    Where does that quote come from? I've seen it a whole bunch of times, but never with attribution.
    – Valorum
    Mar 26, 2017 at 8:18
  • 1
    @Valorum I provided a link to the article and mentioned the person who allegedly said it, Frederick Ordway. Unfortunately, Ordway's own publication on working with Kubrick does not mention anything about sets and props after filming. visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0075.html
    – RichS
    Mar 26, 2017 at 16:03
  • What has been invented cannot be uninvented (licensing permitting): 1/350 scale kit: Moebius 1/350 XD-1 “Discovery One” from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Damn I wish I had the patience and time... May 19, 2021 at 16:06

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