By launching the THIS IS (NOT) ROCKET SCIENCE! research project, the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Museum of Science and Technology) offers a platform for investigating and co-designing future questions in space exploration.The starting point is that today’s children and young people will be directly affected by today’s space science when they grow up. That is why they are already becoming citizen scientists: They research in their own interest, express needs, create visions, question forecasts and become self-empowered experts of their own future. The thematic framework puts a critical perspective on democratisation, commercialisation, equal treatment and space protection. In addition, the collaborative project is designed to be open-ended. The project period is three years (2022–2025).
Impulse questions for the research process with the children and young people include: 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 be in control? Where are the women in space travel? What do we want to know from satellites, what information are they supposed to send us? What can we learn from work processes in space travel, how does the collaboration work? And last but not least: What does “quality of life” actually mean on Earth or elsewhere?
THIS IS (NOT) ROCKET SCIENCE! is funded as part of the „Sparkling Science 2.0“ funding line. With this programme, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) funds citizen science projects where children, young people and the civil society are actively involved in the research process.