An Archaeological Survey of the International Space Station (ISS)

  • Gunn, Wendy (CoI (co-investigator))
  • Walsh, Justin St.P (PI (principal investigator))
  • Gorman, Alice (PI (principal investigator))
  • Castano, Paola (CoI (co-investigator))
  • Meyer, Marit E. (CoI (co-investigator))
  • Jones, Erick (CoI (co-investigator))
  • Richter, Daniel (CoI (co-investigator))
  • Sharman, Fred (CoI (co-investigator))



2018-ongoing Co-I. An Archaeological Survey of the International Space Station (ISS). I was invited to join an international multidisciplinary team of US and Australian researchers with disciplinary backgrounds in (archaeology, design anthropology, environmental engineering, sociology of science and technology studies, architecture, and geology) to document the facilities and activities of a unique space-based habitat whose primary function is as a scientific laboratory. The project aims to provide insights to improve long-duration space missions by focusing attention on how material culture and physical environment shapes sociocultural aspects of crew activities. My contribution builds upon previous research on developing collaborative approaches to designing future indoor climate and air quality in hospitals. As part of the research, we will be testing the hypothesis that the air in ISS, where particles do not fall but instead remain suspended, moving only in response to collisions or a stream of ventilation, is analogous to a human-generated soil and can be treated as an archaeological “artifact” in its own right. This idea could radically change both how archaeologists conceptualize deposits and how habitat designers approach their work. Collaboration to date has involved co-design of research protocol for ISSAP payload proposal, research procedures funding application to The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), preparations for US (NSF) National Science Foundation research funding application; completion of CITI training requirements for investigators and staff involved primarily in Social Behavioral Research with human subjects. The first experiment from the project: Sampling Quadrangles Assemblages Research Experiment (Squares) officially begins at ISS, 14:10 GMT on Friday, January 14, 2022. Imagery will begin to be sent by crew members to research team on the 17th of January 2022. Duration of experiment at ISS 60 days.
Effektiv start/slut dato02/04/2018 → …


  • international space station
  • archaeological survey
  • scientific experiemnts by proxy