"Seeing Like A Rover": Images In Interaction On The Mars Exploration Rover Mission
This dissertation analyzes the use of images on the Mars Exploration Rover mission to both conduct scientific investigations of Mars and plan robotic operations on its surface. Drawing upon three years of fieldwork with the Mars Rover team including ethnography, participant observation, and interviews, the dissertation contributes to the literature in Science and Technology Studies by advancing the analytical framework of drawing as: a practical corollary to Wittgenstein and Hanson's concepts of seeing as that allows the analyst to explore the work of producing scientific images that draw natural objects as analytical objects to enable future representations and interactions. Further, images of Mars betray the social organization of the mission team and its commitment to consensus operations. Observing how images of Mars are drawn as trustworthy documents, drawn as a hypothesis or as a record of collective agreement, drawn as a map for the Rover and drawn as a public space, the disertation demonstrates how interactions with and around Mars Rover images support this political orientation, making the Rover's body a body politic.
dissertation or thesis