An unprecedented examination of NASA’s strong ties to the American South, exploring how the space program and the region have influenced each other over 60 years
“Breaking new ground on issues of race, gender, religion, labor, and tourism, this volume shows the wide impact of the space program on southern culture, education, economy, and technology.”—Kenneth Lipartito, coauthor of A History of the Kennedy Space Center
“Goes well beyond traditional technical or political stories of NASA’s place amongst the events of the twentieth century and richly illustrates how it shaped the land and people of the South.”—Jennifer K. Levasseur, author of Through Astronaut Eyes: Photographing Early Human Spaceflight
During the Cold War, federal funding for the space program transformed the southern United States as NASA built most of its major new facilities in the region and invested heavily in Project Apollo. This volume examines the economic, social, political, and cultural impacts of NASA on the South since the space program was founded in 1958 and explores how the program’s strong relationship to the region has affected NASA’s organizational culture, technological development, and programmatic goals.
Featuring contributions by scholars from a range of backgrounds, including space historians and specialists in many other fields, NASA and the American South offers perspectives on how NASA provided a springboard for the complete restructuring of communities that were home to its facilities in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. These changes unsettled previous patterns of life, and the chapters in this volume include assessments of NASA’s influence on regional development, tourism, art and architecture, religion, and Black institutions of higher education.
Bridging the gap between the history of technology and its geographical and cultural contexts, this book offers an unprecedented reevaluation of the impact of the space program on its surrounding landscape, introducing a new framework for interpreting the agency’s legacy.
Brian C. Odom is chief historian at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Stephen P. Waring is professor of history at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Odom and Waring are coeditors of the award-winning NASA and the Long Civil Rights Movement.
Contributors: Jennifer Ross-Nazzal | Dr Roger D. Launius | Professor Stephen P. Waring | Andrew J. Dunar | Emily A. Margolis | Douglas Brinkley | Rachael Kirschenmann | Caroline T. Swope | Jeffrey Nesbit | Stuart Simms | Kari Edwards | Max Campbell | Drew Adan | Brian C. Odom | Arslan Jumaniyazov | Katarzyna Balug
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