Dr. Dittmer is an assistant professor of geography at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia 30460.
COLONIALISM AND PLACE CREATION IN MARS PATHFINDER MEDIA COVERAGE
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2007 American Geographical Society
Volume 97, Issue 1, pages 112–130, January 2007
How to Cite
Dittmer, J. N. (2007), COLONIALISM AND PLACE CREATION IN MARS PATHFINDER MEDIA COVERAGE. Geographical Review, 97: 112–130. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2007.tb00282.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- place creation;
- space exploration
ABSTRACT. This paper addresses the representation of the planet Mars during the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission through a content analysis of major U.S. newspapers as well as transcripts of television and radio news shows. Content analysis identified three threads of representation: scientific advance and the search for life, the naming of Martian places, and the Earth analogy. Together these converge in a language of colonialism that both advances the economic goals of the media and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and represents Mars as a space fit for human colonization. This article focuses on how the Sojourner rover technology simulated human activity on the surface of Mars and led to the constitution of Mars as a place of social activity, thereby enabling the language of colonialism.