Some might think that the 27 thousand tons of material launched by earthlings into outer space is nothing more than floating piles of debris. However, when looking at these artifacts through the eyes of historians and anthropologists, instead of celestial pollution, they are seen as links to human history and heritage.
Space: The New Frontier for Archeologists
Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology and Heritage, published this month by CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, brings together 43 anthropologists, historians, physicists, and engineers, a scientific team as culturally diverse as the crew of any science fiction cruiser. They offer a range of novel historical and technological perspectives on humankind’s experience in space. This ambitious work presents an informative, thought-provoking, and educational text that discusses the evolution of space engineering, spacecraft reliability and forensics, field techniques, and mission planning, as well as space programs for the future. The book is edited by a pair of scientists from different sides of the campus: Ann Garrison Darrin, aerospace engineer and NASA veteran and Beth Laura O’Leary, anthropologist and member of the World Archaeological Congress Space Heritage Task Force.
The handbook delves into the evolution of space archaeology and heritage, including the emerging fields of Archaeoastronomy, Ethnoastronomy, and Cultural Astronomy. It also covers space basics and the history of the space age from Sputnik to modern day satellites. It discusses the cultural landscape of space, including orbital artifacts in space, as well as objects left on planetary surfaces and includes a look at the culture of Apollo as a catalog of manned exploration of the moon. It also considers the application of forensic investigation to the solving of cold case mysteries including failed Mars mission landing sites and lost spacecraft, and even investigates the archaeology of the putative Roswell UFO crash site and appraises material culture in science fiction.
Never before have I been asked so constantly about a certain book on my desk. … the present book tries to extend various concepts and terms to space which previously had been applied only to Earth. … A big and well-justified effort goes into the definition of the terms used in the discussion. There is even a 30-page appendix explaining the terminology as well as an appendix listing all current space programs and organisations. The index is extensive and helpful. … the overall quality of the print and the book is good. It is primarily addressed to experts; however, the content is intelligible for any interested reader with a basic scientific understanding.
—Manuel Vogel, Contemporary Physics, 52, 2011
The Handbook is an interdisciplinary enterprise containing contributions from aerospace engineers, anthropologists, archaeologists, astronomers, historians, physicists, and other specialists. … The sheer size of the Handbook — more than a thousand pages and weighing 1.6 kilos — makes it an impressive piece of work. … its mere existence is to be seen as a statement in itself. The Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology, and Heritage takes the insight that there are no temporal or spatial limits on archaeology one step further — we have here a definite lift-off for ‘space archaeology’.
—Mats Burström, Department ofArchaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden, in European Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 14, 2011
All Sky Survey
Introduction, A. Garrison Darrin and B.L. O’Leary
Archaeology: The Basics, E. Staski
The Evolution of Space Archaeology and Heritage, B.L. O’Leary
Space Basics: The Solar System, J. Emhoff
Space Basics: Orbital Mechanics, J. Emhoff
Space Basics: Getting to and Staying in Space, M.M. Donegan
Ground Segment: Ground Systems and Operations, R. M. Furrow
Launch Segment: Launch Vehicles and Spacelift, D.E. Clemens and B. Leary
Space Segment: Space Vehicles and Payloads, A. Garrison Darrin and T. Mehoke
The Sky: A Cultural Perspective
Archaeoastronomy, Ethnoastronomy, and Cultural Astronomy, S. Milbrath
Introduction to the Space Age
History of the Space Age, A. Millbrooke
From Vengeance 2 to Sputnik 1: The Beginnings, R. Osiander
The Space Race and the Cold War, R. Sturdevant and G. Orndorff
Origin and Developments in Commercial Space, P.A. Stadter
The Maturing Space Age, R.L. McNutt, Jr.
The Landscape of Space
The Cultural Landscape of Space, A. Gorman
Orbital Artifacts in Space, D.E. Clemens
Introduction to Space Debris, R. Osiander and P. Ostdiek
Heritage of Earth Orbit: Orbital Debris—Its Mitigation and Cultural Heritage, A.
Spacecraft and Objects Left on Planetary Surfaces, R. Gold
The Culture of Apollo: A Catalog of Manned Exploration of the Moon, P.J. Capelotti
Spacecraft Forensics and Mystery Solving
Space Hardware: Mystery Solving, A. Garrison Darrin and P. Prettyman
Failed Mars Mission Landing Sites: Heritage Places or Forensic Investigation Scenes?,
D.H.R. Spennemann and G. Murphy
Lost Spacecraft, P.J. Stooke
Space Hardware: Models, Spares, and Debris, R.D. Lorenz
Environmental Effects and the Material Record
Natural Formation Processes and Their Effects on Exoatmospheric Objects, Structures,
and Sites, E. Staski and R. Gerke
Space Environmental Effects, J.L. Sample
Space, Atmospheric, and Terrestrial Radiation Environments, J.L. Barth
Thermal Environment and the Effects on Aging, D. Mehoke
Potential Effects: Atmospheres of Space Bodies on Materials, W.S. Heaps
Wear and Tear: Mechanical, T.S. Swanson
The Space Environment and Spacecraft Electrical Systems, A. Garrison Darrin
Contamination Control and Planetary Protection, M.M. Donegan
Studies in Aging, P.J. Biermann
Preservation of Space Objects and Case Studies
Space Technology: Vanguard 1, Explorer 7, and GRAB—Materials and Museum
Concerns, H. Szczepanowska
CORONA KH-4B Museum Preservation of Reconnaissance Space Artifacts: A Case Study, H. Szczepanowska
In Situ Preservation of Historic Spacecraft, R. Barclay and R. Brooks
Archaeology of the Putative Roswell UFO Crash Site: A Case Study, W. Doleman
Space Policy and Preservation
International Space Community and Space Law, S. Doyle
One Giant Leap: Preserving Cultural Resources on the Moon, B. L. O’Leary
On the Nature of the Cultural Heritage Values of Spacecraft Crash Sites, D.H.R.
Mission Planning—Space Archaeology and Preservation Planning: System Engineering Perspective, A.Q. Rogers and A. Garrison Darrin
The Future and Space Archaeology
The Plan for the Future Preservation of Space, B.L. O’Leary
Space Exploration: The Next 100 Years, R. L. McNutt, Jr.
Surveying Fermi’s Paradox, Mapping Dyson’s Sphere: Approaches to Archaeological Field Research in Space, P. J. Capelotti
The Mind and the Cosmos
Developing Exoarchaeology in the Solar System and Beyond, J.B. Campbell
Technology and Material Culture in Science Fiction, T.S. Mehoke
Space Archaeology and Science Fiction, L.J. Paxton
Space Archaeology and the Historiography of Science Fiction, B.G. Boone