Societal Impact of Spaceflight

Societal Impact of Spaceflight


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Societal Impact of Spaceflight by National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Since the dawn of spaceflight, advocates of a robust space effort have argued that human activity beyond Earth makes a significant difference in everyday life. Assertions abound about the “impact” of spaceflight on society and its relationship to the larger contours of human existence.


Fifty years after the Space Age began, it is time to examine the effects of spaceflight on society in a historically rigorous way. Has the Space Age indeed had a significant effect on society? If so, what are those influences? What do we mean by an “impact” on society? And what parts of society? Conversely, has society had any effect on spaceflight? What would be different had there been no Space Age? The 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. Herein a stellar array of scholars does just that, and arrives at sometimes surprising conclusions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780160801907
Publisher: US National Aeronautics and Space Admin
Publication date: 08/13/2009
Pages: 694
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 2.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author


Steven J. Dick is the Chief Historian for NASA. He worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, for 24 years before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2003. Among his most recent books are Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (2006 edited with Roger Launius), Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars (2005, edited with Keith Cowing), The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (2004), and Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830-2000 (2003). He is the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and the NASA Group Achievement Award, and he is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Astronomical Union.


Roger D. Launius is a member of the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution’s national Air and space Museum in Washington DC. Between 1990 and 2002, he served as Chief Historian of NASA. He has written or edited more than 20 books on aerospace history, including Space: A Journey to Our Future (2004), Space Stations: A Journey to Our Future (2004), and Flight: A Celebration of 100 Years in Art and Literature (2003). His research interests encompass all areas of U.S. and space history and policy and the role of executive decision-makers and their efforts to define space exploration.


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