Skip to main content

Teasel Muir-Harmony from MIT:s STS-Program visits us s week

Theory of Science is very pleased to invite you to a seminar next Friday October 21, at 13.15-15 with Teasel Muir-Harmony from MIT:s STS-Program who is visiting the department from Wednesday to Saturday. The talk is in room T340 at Olof Wijksgatan 6 (”Gamla hovrätten”).

The title of Teasel's talk is: "Friendship 7’s Fourth Orbit: The International Exhibition of America’s First Human Spaceflight Program"

Abstract: The Friendship 7 space capsule was designed to orbit the earth. On February 20, 1962, with John Glenn, Jr. on board, it circled the globe three times before plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. In May, Friendship 7 began its second journey around the earth but this time the capsule had a different mission: to represent the United States’ space program in nearly thirty cities around the world. This paper examines the capsule’s second mission. Historians have analyzed the significance of the Friendship 7 mission in relation to the early space program, the extensive resources and manpower that went into the flight, the scientific and engineering information gained from the flight, and the flight’s political implications in the context of the Cold War and the space race. This paper, in contrast, will focus on the implications of what the capsule came to symbolize after the flight, as well as how NASA and the United States Information Agency (USIA) harnessed this symbolism to promote America and its human spaceflight program abroad during the Cold War.

Teasel Muir-Harmony is graduate student in MIT’s Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) and currently a visiting graduate student at the Department of History of Science and Technology, KTH. She is interested in the United States’ exhibition of its scientific achievements abroad during the Cold War. More broadly her research focuses include 20th century American history, the history of astronomy and space exploration, international scientific cooperation during the Cold War and the use of science and technology in U.S. foreign policy.

If you want to come to the seminar and the following dinner or would like to meet and talk to Teasel while she is here, please contact Mats Fridlund at