My Life as a Spacecraft

In this blog I’m going to be reflecting back upon what I’ve learnt from my constellation lessons. This will also help me find aspects to talk about in my essay which I’m currently working on.

Our first week was mainly an introduction into the class and what we will be learning about in the coming weeks. The study group was going to ‘use the proposition of seeing from the perspective of a spacecraft to consider how imagination, experience and culture interacts with science and technology’. I found it a really fascinating subject and one that I could link back to my graphics course. For example we learnt about how at the time the space craze infected every aspect of modern society, from fashion to music. This included design so was interesting to see how worldwide events could affect the manufacturing of visual communication.

Week two we were introduced to Hannah Arendt’s complex essay, ‘The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man’ published 1963. Just before Arendts text in 1962 President Kennedy said that they will safely land on the moon, ‘before the year is up’. At this time space technology was gaining momentum and was becoming a much talked about topic. I researched the space travel timeline and I think it will be important to include in my essay argument.

Experience and technology was the focus for week three. We examined the question ‘what do spacecrafts experience?’. Looking back now this was an important week for the exploration of my essay subject. In my question I’m going to be looking further into these two category’s although with Tuf and Comet Catchers instead. Something important I learnt from the subject was that I need to look into what the emotional journeys of both spacecrafts are. This will allow me to reflect and pick out things they have in common and things that differ.

In week four we looked into science and culture and how they impact each other. Fascinating thoughts were brought up such as your views on science can all depend on your our cultural experiences. For example you may view our effort to explore space a waste of time and are resources should be spent other places. ‘In 2005 NASA had a budget of $16.2 billion; this includes not only the human spaceflight division, but also other engineering projects, and science funded by NASA. The total federal spending budget in 2005 was on the order of $2 trillion’. That is a huge sum that others might rather be seen making our own planet a better place. Culture can have a big effect on how we view space exploration and if we even should.

Week five we were asked to question ‘what is the technological imaginary of a spacecraft?’. Imagination is fantasy, dreamlike, surrealism and is created by the individual so is a personal concept. This linked in really nicely with my essay question as I’m looking at Tuf Voyaging by George, Martin which is an imaginary character with imaginary situations. In the class it was interesting to compare both my essay subjects on their imagination complex and see how it affects their spacecrafts.

Culture and technology. At first ‘space technology can seem to have no culture. They are not fashion statements owned and customised by individuals. Spacecrafts are functual, scientific and therefore supposedly culturally neutral’. I thought I could use this statement to further look into and reference in my essay. On one hand space technology has little culture but on the other it has created so much culture. From the futuristic fashion styles from the 60’s to now, its influenced our modern culture and still does today.

Overall this subject has been extremely thought-provoking and beneficial to not only my personal love of space technology but to my graphic work to. Learning more about the space travel timeline and how it affects modern society is a crucial part of our design history.

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