Robinson Crusoe is an motto of how inseparable man is from culture. However, being alone on a desert island, we need to represent ourselves and feel part of a community, the anchor of our salvation.
To understand how we can adapt to a completely new environment today, it is enough to study the International Space Station. Archaeological project of the International Space Station It is an innovative program that uses traditional archaeological research techniques to analyze how astronauts interact in the home space. The orbital station is indeed a unique place: among the most remote places from home where a human can be, is at the same time the Tower of Babel above our heads.
The ISS project has involved five space agencies (US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada) and has hosted at least 240 visitors from 19 countries in just over 20 years. And so the station turned out to be the perfect home for the first archaeological study aimed at understanding how a new culture was born, in this case in orbit.
he is called space archeology The study of material culture, that is, the objects, manifestations and values u200bu200bthat belong to the culture of the people, to which man adapts to the environment of space. Not being able to make direct observations in the field, the project will analyze images taken on board the ship over more than two decades, to document developments and changes in lifestyle and cultural make-up of the station.
The goal is to understand the “micro-community” of crews aboard the International Space Station to present to youWe analyze how life works in space.
“The images include metadata that records the time and date, which becomes fossil, linking the content of the images to moments in time – says a space archaeologist Alice Gorman of Flinders University – Since the crew takes about 400 photos per day, the photos depicting the interior of the station are now millions.”
The project makes extensive use of NASA’s archives by drawing, as well as images, from video and audio produced on board the station. Thanks to this huge field of evidence, we will try to answer basic questions about the coexistence of astronauts and scientific activity in orbit. For example, we will investigate how spaces and objects carry conflict or cooperation interactions. Or what are the effects of microgravity on the development of society and culture.
In the material analysis, innovative techniques will be used, such as machine learning to index the associations between crew members, the spaces within the station and the various objects and tools used. At the same time, there will be traditional excavations this time of technologies and space objects that have returned to Earth and are now unusable:
“If objects associated with the International Space Station are disposed of on Earth and are now underground, then traditional archaeological excavation techniques can be used to recover and analyze them” – concludes Alice Gorman.
Featured image credits: International Space Station Archaeological Project
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