22. A New Earth for a New Space Age?

David Jeevendrampillai, University College London; Karlijn Korpershoek, Jagiellonian University; Peter Timko, Jagiellonian University;

In May 2022 financial giants Citigroup asserted that space would be a $1 trillion dollar industry by 2040[1]. This bullish assessment is one among many-new regulatory frameworks, shifting geopolitical priorities, and cheaper space technology have made space an increasingly active sector around the world. Today more than 70 countries operate space agencies while thousands of companies, financial firms, and communities work to gain a foothold in the growing space economy. Often, this activity is bound up in politically and ethically charged anticipation as actors envision and build toward new space-bound futures. Emerging alongside this are narratives of (post) global humanity, novel ecological imaginaries, and duelling anxiety and optimism about space-based technologies exacerbating or alleviating Earth's mounting environmental and social quandaries. Further, visions of the earth from space are said to enable a new form of planetary consciousness whereby people relate their own subjectivity to the planet itself, and its ecologies in new ways. While eying the future, these overlapping developments animate diverse and contextual contingent action in the present. This panel will critically assess how outer space, as a driver of social, economic, and cultural futures reconfigures concepts of land, sky and ecologies as well as the material arrangements of those very things themselves. Via empirical ethnographic work on the ground it seeks to explore how space is mobilised as a prime driver of the future and the forms of ethical decision making such a mobilisation calls for. [1] https://icg.citi.com/icghome/what-we-think/citigps/insights/space_20220509 accessed 7/4/2023

Contact: david.jeevendrampillai@ucl.ac.uk, karlijn.korpershoek@doctoral.uj.edu.pl, Peter.timko@doctoral.uj.edu.pl

Keywords: Infrastructure, Environmental/Multispecies Studies, outer space; futures; ethnography

Published: 04/07/2023