The ultimate edge: The case for planning media for sustaining space communities
Cokley, John, Rankin, William, McAuliffe, Marisha B., Heinrich, Pauline, & Hanrick, Phillipa (2016) The ultimate edge: The case for planning media for sustaining space communities. In Taylor, Andrew, Carson, Dean, Ensign, Prescott, Huskey, Lee, & Rasmussen, Rasmus (Eds.) Settlements at the Edge: Remote Human Settlements in Developed Nations. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, pp. 405-426.
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Governments and intergovernmental organisations have long recognised that space communities – the ultimate ‘settlements at the edge’ – will exist one day and have based their first plans for these on another region ‘at the edge’, the Antarctic. United States President Eisenhower proposed to the United Nations in 1960 that the principles of the Antarctic Treaty be applied to outer space and celestial bodies (State Department, n.d.). Three years later the UN adopted the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space and in 1967 that became the Outer Space Treaty. According to the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, ‘the Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967, and it entered into force in October 1967’ (Office for Outer Space Affairs, n.d). The status of the treaty (at time of writing) was 89 signatories and 102 parties (Office for Disarmament Affairs, n.d.). Other related instruments include the Rescue Agreement, the Liability Convention, the Registration Convention and the Moon Agreement (Office for Outer Space Affairs, n.d.-a). Jumping to the present, a newsagency reported in July 2014 (Reuters, 2014) that the British Government had shortlisted eight aerodromes in its search for a potential base for the UK’s first spaceplane flights which Ministers want to happen by 2018 (UK Space Agency, 2014). The United States already has a spaceport, in New Mexico (Cokley, Rankin, Heinrich, & McAuliffe, 2013)...
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