Space archaeology is the study of the material culture associated with space exploration from the twentieth century onwards. This includes terrestrial infrastructure related to the development, manufacturing, operation, and use of space systems, spacecraft and space debris located throughout the solar system and the landing sites of robotic and crewed missions on other planets and celestial bodies. Space archaeology sits within the field known as “archaeology of the contemporary past.”
The era of modern rocketry, which created the first real capacity to break free of Earth’s gravity, had its roots in the amateur rocket societies of the first half of the twentieth century. In World War II (1939–1945), Germany developed missiles capable of reaching other continents and, hence, also capable of reaching space. The V2 rocket drew on the expertise of the amateur rocketeers such as Wernher von Braun, and following the war, a diaspora of German rocket scientists and materials...
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