The 9pm Probe: Dr Alice Gorman, space archaeologist

Dr Alice Gorman

This is the pilot episode of The 9pm Probe, a long-form interview with an interesting person. Today, space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman aka Dr Space Junk from Flinders University in South Australia.

As some of you may know, I was a bit of an enthusiastic Space Age kid, so this is a very self-indulgent conversation.

We talk about: How the live TV images of the Apollo 11 mission were really quite dull; Vanguard 1, currently the oldest human satellite in space; how civilian and military space programs have always been closely intertwined; citizen science in space; a brief mention of the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL); CORONA and the movie Ice Station Zebra; the International Geophysical Year (IGY); the International Polar Year; why people get angry about the concept of space archaeology; Australia’s early involvement in the Space Age; the Woomera test range; the Zuni rocket; WRESAT; the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), the forerunner to the European Space Agency (ESA); rocket playgrounds; Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man”; the inevitability of Uranus jokes; the start of the Second Space Age; our shared love of the Soviet technological aesthetic; the cube-sat revolution; the recent launch of rogue satellites; space tourism; Australia’s planned new space agency; SpaceX’s recent work, including firing a Tesla into space; Rocket Lab’s Humanity Star; the live video feed from the International Space Station; the Aboriginal use of bottle glass after European colonisation; and colonial processes in space.

At the end, I also mention the licenses you need to fly a spacecraft.

This episode was recorded on Monday 26 March 2018 at Flinders University.

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Series Credits

[Photo: Dr Alice Gorman. Image courtesy Flinders University.]