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Lisa Rand

Expert on the past and present of space technology and space junk, history of gender and technology, planetary analogs

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities College of Letters and Science — Home and cell phones available upon request Home page Twitter: @orbital_decay


  • The system of waste in orbit around the planet and falling to Earth, commonly known as "space junk"
  • History of the Space Age, particularly focusing on places and peoples commonly excluded from mainstream narratives of this period
  • History of waste, pollution, and discarded things in America and in motion across boundaries
  • Connecting gender, race, motherhood, and civic duty across colonial projects from the American West to outer space
  • Planetary analog habitats as visions of a post-Earth, multi-planet future


  • Awarded research funding by NASA, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Affiliated with the RAND Corporation and the Department of Space History, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Quoted and published in publications including the Atlantic, Wired, Gizmodo, Mashable, Atlas Obscura, Popular Mechanics, Circa, Quartz, the History Channel
  • Guest on public radio, popular podcasts, television news, CSPAN, NASA TV