Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Chinese rocket and space junk - radio interview

Last week I did an interview on The Current, on CBC Radio, Toronto. The subject of the show was China's recent destruction of a satellite by missile, and the effect on the growth of orbital debris. Other guests included Don Kessler (formerly of NASA's Orbital Debris Office), Geoff Forden (MIT) and David Wright (Union of Concerned Scientists). Some of the show is available online at the following link:

The interview took place at about a quarter past midnight, Australian time. I was very sleepy and may not have made as much sense as I'd like ....

Monday, February 12, 2007

The heritage of off-world landscapes - call for papers

John Campell of James Cook University and I are organising a session at the ICOMOS conference in Cairns in July. Here is the session abstract:

The Heritage Of Off-World Landscapes
Convenors: Alice Gorman (alice.gorman@flinders.edu.au) and John Campbell (john.campbell@jcu.edu.au)

Human understandings of the Earth have always been mediated by conceptions of what lies beyond the atmosphere. In the 20th century, however, interplanetary space acquired a new layer of meaning as satellites and spacecraft explored the Solar System. Landscapes once viewed only through the lens of the night sky became places that humans could visit, through images and data, and in the flesh. This session explores the heritage values in these new landscapes: the cloud of satellites and orbital debris circling the Earth; the lunar landscapes created by Russian, US and ESA landing and crash sites on the Moon; the Soviet, US and ESA hardware that now litters the Martian desert or is continuing to explore it; the probes which have been sent further out, like the ESA craft Huygens which has formed a site on the cloudy surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. As a new “space race” emerges in the 21st century between India, China and other spacefaring nations, it is imperative to consider how we understand the significance of off-world landscapes at both the global and the local level, and to work toward developing and implementing international protocols and agreements on the protection and, where feasible, management of places of significant space heritage.

If you are interested in presenting a paper at this session, please contact me!

For more information look at the conference website: