Book ID: CBB074723221

Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East (2018)


When Sultan bin Salman left Earth on the shuttle Discovery in 1985, he became the first Arab, first Muslim and first member of a royal family in space. Twenty-five years later, the discovery of a planet 500 light years away by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey - subsequently named `Qatar-1b' - was evidence of the cutting-edge space science projects taking place across the Middle East. This book identifies the individuals, institutions and national ideologies that enabled Arab astronomers and researchers to gain support for space exploration when Middle East governments lacked interest. Joerg Matthias Determann shows that the conquest of space became associated with national prestige, security, economic growth and the idea of an `Arab renaissance' more generally. Equally important to this success were international collaborations: to benefit from American and Soviet expertise and technology, Arab scientists and officials had to commit to global governance of space and the common interests of humanity. Challenging the view that the golden age of Arabic science and cosmopolitanism was situated in the medieval period, Determann tells the story of the new discoveries and scientific collaborations taking place from the 19th century to the present day. An innovative contribution to Middle East studies and history of science, the book also appeals to increased business, media and political interest in the Arab space industry.

Reviewed By

Review Stefano Bigliardi (2018) Review of "Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East". Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science (pp. 207-208). unapi

Review Asif Siddiqi (2019) Review of "Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 649-651). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Neufeld, Michael J.
Zimmermann, Robert
Johnson-Freese, Joan
Dreer, Francis
Sparrow, Giles
Gallentine, Jay
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Space and Defense
Journal of Geophysical Research
Joseph Henry Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
Haynes Pub.
Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
University of Nebraska Press
History Press
Space research and exploration
Space programs
Space travel; space flight
Science and politics
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
18th century
20th century
19th century
United States
Soviet Union
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Project Apollo (NASA)
University of Arizona
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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