Space Station Study (12-29-21)

Walsh, Gorman, and Salmond assessed the inside of International Space Station and their methodology, reported in this free-to-all article, can also be applied in terrestrial environments.  The trio report that they “offer an archaeological analysis of the visual display of ‘space heroes’ and Orthodox icons in the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station (ISS). . . .  we use historic imagery from NASA archives to track the changing presence of 78 different items in a single zone. We also explore how ideas about which items are appropriate for display and where to display them originated in earlier Soviet and Russian space stations starting as early as the 1970s. In this way, we identify the emergence and evolution of a particular kind of space station culture with implications for future habitat design. . . . the practices observed here were seemingly unanticipated by Zvezda’s designers—there are no frames or holders for the items and no guidance from the architecture or decor about how and where to place them.”

Justin Walsh, Alice Gorman, and Wendy Salmond.  “Visual Displays in Space Station Culture.”  Current Anthropology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1086/717778