Lots of updates about ISSAP

It’s been a long time since we posted an update, but if you’ve been following us on social media, you know we’ve been busy. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to since we announced the award of a two-year grant by the Australian Research Council:

  • recruited new team members to collaborate on various parts of our project, including our photo study, cargo processing observation, and crew survey of the interior of the International Space Station
  • received approval from NASA’s Human Research Program Institutional Review Board for our study of NASA’s archive of historic photos documenting life on board ISS. We now have thousands of photos covering the period from the station’s occupation in November 2000 through Expedition 15 in October 2007, and more are coming in regularly.
  • experimented with data scraping to automate tagging of people and places in the historic photos, allowing us to identify patterns of presences in different locations by gender, nationality, and space agency affiliation
  • received major data sets including archived versions of the ISS Inventory Management System, a database that includes every item sent to the space station (more than 377,000 of them!)
  • completed our first two articles (one on our methodology, currently available as a pre-print; the other describing the field of space archaeology and our place within it, soon to be published as part of a volume called Archaeology Outside-the-Box, to be published by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press)
  • participated in a conference on machine learning in archaeology organized by the British School in Rome and a workshop on space and culture organized by the Science Museum (UK)
  • updated the design of this website and added many more items to our News page

There’s much more coming soon. We have blog posts on sleeping situations on ISS and the use of resealable plastic bags by crew members, and several more articles in the works. Continue to stay tuned!