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Author Topic:   Showcasing Space
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-23-2005 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Showcasing Space, ed. by Martin Collins and Douglas Millard, London Science Museum, 2005, softcover ISBN 1-900747-61-8, $39.95, 7 x 10 inches, 200 pages.

This volume seeks to explore the meaning of space artefacts, both as products of particular historical settings and as windows for understanding technological and cultural change. Seven contributors, most of whom are museum curators, address these challenges through the history of particular artefacts, highlighting differences and commonalities across technologies, institutions, professional communities, projects and geographical contexts. The essays sample the broad range of space activity - from launch vehicles to satellites and space capsules, from military to commercial and scientific purposes. They include an exploration of the Black Arrow rocket project in Britain, the European Launcher Development Organization, NASA’s Mercury capsules, the Iridium commercial global satellite communications system, the Soviet space programme, and rocket recovery in Australia.

What stories can space artefacts tell? What kinds of information and experiences might real objects convey that images and representations do not? Do they speak for themselves, or do they represent a dense sediment of human agency, culture and technology needing interpretation by experts? And, more particularly, in what ways do space artefacts originating in Cold War culture pose historiographic questions and issues that do not arise from artefacts with other histories? Questions such as these speak to the Artefacts series’ purpose: To explore the overlapping interests of museums and historians of science and technology in understanding artefacts, as well as presenting that understanding to scholarly and general publics.

70 black & white and 16 color illustrations

Click here to order from Michigan State University Press

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