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MU La Paz

301 E Orange St

Tempe, AZ 85287

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Title:

NASA, Public Engagement, and the Quest for Human Space Flight Legitimacy after Apollo

Abstract:

NASA remains one of the world’s most renowned, publicly visible organizations. Nevertheless, scholars have hardly looked beyond NASA’s efforts to dazzle American and global spectators with its human space flight feats during the U.S.-Soviet Space Race to understand how and why the agency has since sought to relate to publics outside of government, academic, and industry space program developers. As the Apollo program ended, shifting sociopolitical attitudes and new space technology possibilities prompted NASA to reimagine its publics as active participants crucial to the success and legitimacy of its next major human space flight initiative, the Space Shuttle. My work illuminates the visions of public accountability, perceptions of technology, and other factors that influence how technoscientific organizations in democratic societies choose to engage with various publics. It suggests NASA and other institutions should enroll publics meaningfully and strategically in their programs, despite the associated challenges, to create relevant, sustainable endeavors

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Dr. Amy Kaminski currently serves as program executive for prizes and challenges at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, where she works to develop strategies to expand the space agency’s use of a variety of open innovation methods in its research and exploration activities. She served previously as senior policy advisor in the Office of the Chief Scientist, where she led an initiative to support and expand NASA’s involvement of citizens as contributors to the agency’s research activities. Before joining NASA, Kaminski served as a program examiner at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She also has held positions in the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Space Society.

Kaminski earned a Ph.D. in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in science, technology, and public policy from The George Washington University and a B.A. from Cornell University in earth and planetary sciences.

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MU La Paz

301 E Orange St

Tempe, AZ 85287

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