(Re-)Exploring Places: „New Space” as a Material-discursive Sustainability Practice

Spaceflight activities are currently undergoing a profound process of transformation. Different actors claim the paradigm of the “New Space Age” to be as one of increasing commercialization and privatization. New actors are appearing within the space industry and throughout its customer base. Universities and SMEs launch and operate small and cheap satellites of their own, NGOs apply space-based data, and governmental agencies as well as public institutions are increasingly dependent on critical communication and information infrastructures in orbit. At the same time, utopias of human spaceflight gain new momentum in their aspiration to carry humankind further into deep space, while near-earth space is falling victim to pollution and security risks emanating from space debris. Here, striking parallels to sustainability related policies and climate action can be identified.

This PhD project aims to establish genealogies and analyze epistemologies and technopolitics of the phenomena described above. The focus thereby lies on arising new relations between space and Earth, which are made available for one another under ubiquitous challenges of innovation and sustainability.

Project leader(s):
Michael Clormann

since 12.2016

Project type:

Funding institution:
Exzellenzinitiative, Munich School of Engineering