de 281
Vista actual
S
oci eta l
i
m pact
o
f
S
pacef light
Steven J. Dick
Roger D. Launius
Editors
NASA
SP-2007-4801
S
ince the dawn of spaceflight, advocates of a
robust space effort have argued that human
activity beyond
e
arth makes a significant
difference in everyday life.
a
ssertions abound
about the “impact” of spaceflight on society
and its relationship to the larger contours of
human existence.
f
ifty years after the Space
a
ge began, it is
time to examine the effects of spaceflight on
society in a historically rigorous way.
h
as
the Space
a
ge indeed had a significant effect
on society?
i
f so, what are those influences?
What do we mean by an “impact” on society?
a
nd what parts of society?
c
onversely, has
society had any effect on spaceflight? What
would be different had there been no Space
a
ge?
t
he purpose of this volume is to
examine these and related questions through
scholarly research, making use especially of
the tools of the historian and the broader
social sciences and humanities.
h
erein a
stellar array of scholars does just that, and
arrives at sometimes surprising conclusions.
o
nce contemplated, the subject is broad, rich
and stimulating. Spaceflight has commercial
and economic dimensions, as well as social,
cultural, and ideological ramifications.
i
t
touches on enduring
a
merican values of
pioneering, progress, enterprise, and rugged
individualism. Worldwide it encompasses
international cooperation and competition,
and affects foreign policies, national security,
and questions of the global environment.
Viewing
e
arth from space, and space
from the vicinity of
e
arth, alters world
views, conceptions of self and others, and
understandings of our place and purpose in
the universe.
On the cover:
Top:
This view of the rising Earth greeted the Apollo 8
astronauts as they came from behind the Moon after the
lunar orbit insertion burn in December, 1968. Although the
photo is commonly viewed as situated here, with Earth
about five degrees off the horizon, the astronauts saw it as
they rounded the moon with Earth to the left.
Bottom:
Many humans thrill to the spectacle and the
promise of spaceflight.
Steven J. Dick
is the
c
hief
h
istorian for
N
a
S
a
.
h
e worked as an astronomer and
historian of science at the U.S. Naval
o
bservatory in Washington, D
c
, for 24 years
before coming to N
a
S
a
h
eadquarters in 2003.
a
mong his most recent books are
Critical Issues
in the History of Spaceflight
(2006, edited with
Roger
l
aunius),
Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea
and the Stars
(2005, edited with Keith
c
owing),
The Living Universe: NASA and the Development
of Astrobiology
(2004),
and
Sky and
o
cean Joined:
The U.S. Naval
o
bservatory, 1830–2000
(2003).
h
e is the recipient of the Navy
m
eritorious
c
ivilian Service
m
edal and the N
a
S
a
g
roup
a
chievement
a
ward, and he is a member of the
i
nternational
a
cademy of
a
stronautics and the
i
nternational
a
stronomical Union.
Roger D. Launius
is a member of the Division
of Space
h
istory at the Smithsonian
i
nstitution’s
National
a
ir and Space
m
useum in Washington,
D
c
. Between 1990 and 2002, he served as
c
hief
h
istorian of N
a
S
a
.
h
e has written or
edited more than 20 books on aerospace history,
including
Space: A Journey to
o
ur Future
(2004),
Space Stations: Base Camps to the Stars
(2003),
and
Flight: A Celebration of 100 Years in Art and
Literature
(2003).
h
is research interests encompass
all areas of U.S. and space history and policy
history, especially cultural aspects of the subject
and the role of executive decision-makers and
their efforts to define space exploration.
On the back cover:
Eagle Nebula—
The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with
the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera
2. The color image is constructed from three separate images
taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms.
Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green
shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by
doubly-ionized oxygen atoms.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA History Division
Office of External Relations
Washington, DC
2007
Steven J
. Dic
k
R
oger D. Launius
Editor
s
S
ocietal
Impact
S
pacefl
o
i
f
ght
S
ocietal
Impact
S
pacefl
o
i
f
ght
Steven J. Dick and Roger D. Launius
Editors
National aeronautics and Space administration
Office of External Relations
History Division
Washington, Dc
2007
NaSa Sp-2007-4801
Library of congress cataloging-in-publication Data
Societal impact of spaceflight / Steven J. Dick and Roger D. Launius, editors.
p. cm. — (the NaSa history series, NaSa Sp-2007-4801)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. astronautics and civilization. 2. astronautics—United States—History. I. Dick, Steven J. II.
Launius, Roger D.
cB440.S63 2007
303.48’3--dc22
2007042444
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