In Situ Preservation of Historic Spacecraft

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R. Barclay; R. Brooks (2002), JBIS, 55, 173-181

Refcode: 2002.55.173
Keywords: Spacecraft, preservation, funding, tourism, museums, Mir, Hubble, historic

The loss of the Mir space station is shown to symbolize a new consciousness of the value of space artefacts. The reasons why such artefacts as Mir become historic objects worthy of preservation are examined. Preservation of space vehicles in situ is discussed, with particular reference to safety, monitoring and long term costs. An argument is made for a wider definition for World Heritage designations to include material beyond the surface of the Earth, and for international bodies to assess, monitor and oversee these projects. Such heritage sites are seen as an economic driver for the development of space tourism in the 21st century.

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