Each year the Fellowship in Aerospace History—supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and administered by the AHA—funds projects that undertake advanced research in all aspects of aerospace history, from the earliest human interest in flight to the present, including cultural and intellectual history, economic history, history of law and public policy, and history of science, engineering, and management. The 2014–15 fellowship in Aerospace History has been awarded to Brian M. Jirout, PhD candidate in the School of History, Technology, and Society at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for his project “One Space Age Development for the World: The American Landsat Civil Remote Sensing Program in Use, 1964-2014.”
Jirout received his BA magna cum laude with honors in geography and international affairs from Florida State University. As the Melvin Kranzberg Graduate Fellow at Georgia Tech working under the direction of Dr. John Krige, Jirout has researched the political and international history of NASA’s Landsat Earth observation satellite program during and after the Cold War. His study traces the evolution of the program from an experimental project into a commercial venture, which became suspended in political debate between the national security establishment and the scientific community. He situates Landsat internationally as an instrument of foreign relations that fostered the use of remote sensing technology abroad through data packages, expertise, and ground stations. Jirout suggests the Landsat program is a useful case study for understanding science and technology policy change since the 1960s.
Congratulations to Brian for receiving the 2014–15 NASA Fellowship.