This is (not) Rocket Science!

Citizen Scientists as Mission Control

This is (not) Rocket Science! forms an institutional platform for researching and helping to shape future issues in space science. The starting point is that today's children and young people will be directly affected by today's space science in adulthood. That is why they are already becoming Citizen Scientists: they research in their own interest, formulate their needs, create visions, question forecasts and thus become self-empowered experts of their own future. In the course of workshops, in discussion situations or design units in the TMW, they become familiar with thematic focal points, visit players of space science in Austria or meet young scientists of the TU Space Team. This is (not) Rocket Science! puts a critical perspective on topics such as democratisation, commercialisation, equal treatment and space protection. The project is open-ended and the research results will also be communicated to a broad public: there will be a blog accompanying the project and a large exhibition on the topic of space architecture (realisation 2027) will include project results.

The cooperation with the Bildungsgrätzl in Vienna's 15th district makes it possible to work with children and young people of all ages (kindergarten - Matura) and different socio-economic backgrounds from a peripheral area of Vienna. The cooperation with the Federal Institute for the Blind brings in special expertise: Here, the young Citizen Scientists are already experts in designing their own lifeworlds and implementing them in everyday life.

Impulse questions for the research process with the children and young people are: What will commercial space travel bring? Will there be habitats and biospheres on the Moon and/or Mars, who is allowed and wants to live there? Is some kind of colonisation of space imminent? Will we be able to export our collective memory and if so, what of it? Will we also export pollution into space? Who gets to research, design, build, co-create and control? Where are the women in space travel? What do we want to know from satellites, what information should they send us? What can we learn from work processes in space travel, how does collaborative work work? Finally: What does "quality of life" actually mean on Earth or elsewhere?

(Photocredit © Habitat/TMW)