Broadcast 3784 Dr. Alice Gorman

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dr. Alice Gorman;  Topics:  Space Archaeology, the space archaeology project on the ISS, settlement and archaeology, debris, historical debris, culture, the Moon, Mars, O'Neill cylinders, extraterrestrial life, and much more.

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We welcomed Dr. Alice Gorman back to the program to discuss space archaeology, developments since her last visit to The Space Show in July 2017, plus new in-space archaeological projects like the one you will hear about on the ISS early in 2022.  For a quick summary of the subjects we discussed during our program, please review the tags and key words repeated below;

Tags and Key Words:  Dr. Alice Gorman, space archaeology, space heritage, Apollo 11, archaeology on the ISS, Axiom space, rare or unusual objects on ISS, space settlements, the Moon, habitats, gravity differences, ISS film, Mars settlement challenges, impact of a death in space, space tourism, destroying space debris, historical space debris, situational awareness, environmental concerns, human materials in space, an in space EIR, historical items remaining in orbit, ASAT weapons, space weaponization, space militarization, spectrometry, Voyager 1 and 2, Tesla in space for archaeological purposes, extra terrestrial life, sentient life, natural vs. cultural, human vs. natural, overlapping technologies, Venus, optimism, space archaeology in ten years, the Moon and diversity, space narratives including weapons, conflict and war, resisting conventional narratives, Oumuamua.

In addition to commenting on the key word topics, Alice spent time with us on the ISS space archaeological project to take place in Jan. 2022.  The project known as The International Space Station Archaeological Project (ISSAP) is the first large-scale space archaeology project ( and will study the ISS crew in detail.  Our guest talked at length about the project but their website is excellent so you should also check it out.  You can sign up to follow the project and reports on their Twitter feed which is available on their website. 

After hearing about the ISS project, we got an email from Tim in Las Vegas asking if a space settlement, when one is actually set up on the Moon or someplace in space, should be set up to do space archaeology from the start.  He talked about making habitats and other items friend for archaeological research right out of the box.  Don't miss how our guest responded to this question, plus what she said about studying the difference in the way people might do things on the Moon at 1/6th Earth Gravity compared to on the ISS in microgravity. 

Following Tim's email, Jossy out of Denver asked Alice for her perspective on the film just completed on the Russian segment of the ISS. This was an interesting discussion mentioning perspectives and insights not typically thought about by most of us.  Let us know what you think when you hear what was said about the film, the people involved, what they may have left behind or disturbed, tools or instruments left behind and more.  The best way to do that is to post your comment on our blog for this show.  One thing Alice pointed would be to see how crew members, film participants, and maybe tourists to the station do similar things and work with similar tools.  Later, listener Ben asked if Alice was focused on other possible commercial space stations but for now as you will hear, the focus was on the ISS. 

Settlement on Mars came up.  Alice was skeptical and I was to a lessor extent though I thought in time it would take place.  Alice talked about how things might change with a death in space or an in space accident.  She mentioned the risk with space tourism in that if it continued, at some point there would likely be an in space accident.  We agreed that perhaps when tourism and related activities were more common in space, accidents and deaths would be more routinely accepted like they are in adventure travel or other activities here on Earth today.  However, since all of this is new, an accident or death in space may be a show stopper, at least for a while.

Karen brought up space debris as a type of archaeological ruin.  Alice agreed and suggested there be other ways than just destroying space debris to get it out of the way.  Listen carefully to her commentary.  She held out some debris to be historical and suggested finding ways for it to remain in orbit for the sake of history.  She compared this to bringing it back to Earth to be placed in a museum.  This was a fascinating discussion so I urge you to listen, consider, then share your thoughts with us on the blog.  We took a fantasy trip to wanting to evaluate the Voyager 1 and 2 after years of being in interstellar space.  I asked Alice about getting to evaluate the Tesla that has been in space since 2018.  Don't miss her comments on that one.  Our guest talked about learning how materials and electronics hold up in space, the difference between commercial space material and government space material and more.  We want your thoughts on all of this so do post on our blog, OK?  Alice brought to our attention problems with culture and acceptance.  For instance, she talked about ASAT weapons and finding ways to do science from space or the ground with advanced spectrometry or something similar so an ASAT would not enter into the picture.  In addition, our guest talked about the need to reject the culture that says weapons, conflict and such are inevitable for space.  She suggested ways to resist that conclusion.  Don't miss all of what she said on these subjects.

As we were nearing the end of the program, Alice was asked about finding life off Earth, even sentient life.  This was another great discussion you will want to hear.  I believe we were both optimistic though I did do a mild rant about why the search for life and ET had so much politics overlaying it along with security issues.  I favor transparency on this subject but now that there is so much out there and its hard to know truth from deception or fact.  I believe it would be hard to recognize legitimate transparency even if it were in front of us. At least for this topic.

Before ending, I asked our guest to describe space archaeology for us in ten years.  What would be the issues, the concerns, the focus.  Alice presented us with a type of wish list with examples of what she would want to see and know in ten years.  She talked about the Moon as being seen as a big gray rock, plus she even talked about lunar settlors seeing Earth from the Moon with different phases and what culture or myths might develop over time from the space settlement perspective rather than the Earth perspective as is the case today.  In fact, we covered so many great topics and had some really great discussions and chances for wild imagination that you the listener have lots of opportunities for posting on our blog about the content of this program.  So, what's stopping you? We want to hear form you.

Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this program.  You can reach our guest through me or her faculty page at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.




Space archaeology, a new look and updates

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09 Nov 2021 Dr. Alice Gorman
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • helix-space the space show sponsor

  • space settlement progress

  • The Space Foundation Conference