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dc.contributor.authorKaminski, Amy Paigeen_US
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-21T06:00:20Z
dc.date.available2017-09-21T06:00:20Z
dc.date.issued2015-03-30en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:4605en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/79365
dc.description.abstractHistorical accounts depict NASA's interactions with American citizens beyond government agencies and aerospace firms since the 1950s and 1960s as efforts to 'sell' its human space flight initiatives and to position external publics as would-be observers, consumers, and supporters of such activities. Characterizing citizens solely as celebrants of NASA's successes, however, masks the myriad publics, engagement modes, and influences that comprised NASA's efforts to forge connections between human space flight and citizens after Apollo 11 culminated. While corroborating the premise that NASA constantly seeks public and political approval for its costly human space programs, I argue that maintaining legitimacy in light of shifting social attitudes, political priorities, and divided interest in space flight required NASA to reconsider how to serve and engage external publics vis-à-vis its next major human space program, the Space Shuttle. Adopting a sociotechnical imaginary featuring the Shuttle as a versatile technology that promised something for everyone, NASA sought to engage citizens with the Shuttle in ways appealing to their varied, expressed interests and became dependent on some publics' direct involvement to render the vehicle viable economically, socially, and politically. NASA's ability and willingness to democratize the Shuttle proved difficult to sustain, however, as concerns evolved following the Challenger accident among NASA personnel, political officials, and external publics about the Shuttle's purpose, value, safety, and propriety. Mapping the publics and engagement modes NASA regarded as crucial to the Shuttle's legitimacy, this case study exposes the visions of public accountability and other influences -- including changing perceptions of a technology -- that can govern how technoscientific institutions perceive and engage various external publics. Doing so illuminates the prospects and challenges associated with democratizing decisions and uses for space and, perhaps, other technologies managed by U.S. government agencies while suggesting a new pathway for scholarly inquiry regarding interactions between technoscientific institutions and external publics. Expanding NASA's historical narrative, this study demonstrates that entities not typically recognized as space program contributors played significant roles in shaping the Shuttle program, substantively and culturally. Conceptualizing and valuing external publics in these ways may prove key for NASA to sustain human space flight going forward.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectNASAen_US
dc.subjectSpace Shuttleen_US
dc.subjecthuman space flighten_US
dc.subjectpublic engagementen_US
dc.subjectsociotechnical imaginariesen_US
dc.subjectdemocratizationen_US
dc.subjectpublic participationen_US
dc.titleSharing the Shuttle with America: NASA and Public Engagement after Apolloen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentScience and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineScience and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairSchmid, Sonjaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAllen, Barbara L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHirsh, Richard F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLaunius, Roger D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDowney, Gary L.en_US


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