Andrew Jenks
Articles by Andrew Jenks

Sex and Cold-War Technological Fixes, Part II

ASTP engineers had worked painstakingly to engineer the flight in a way that would remove the implication that one side, the “male,” was dominating the other, the “female,” but that message was completely lost on much of the American public.

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Sex and Cold-War Technological Fixes, Part I

Like their counterparts among American defense intellectuals, Soviet engineers often imagined their work in sexual terms. Mating thus became a convenient shorthand for complex engineering couplings. Through the mid-1960s, docking simulations were popular events among space managers, engineers, and politicians in the secret Soviet space testing facility, a kind of mechanical peep show. “Hold the stallion,” said one engineer, positioning the probe at the entrance of the cone.

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