Reopening the Space Frontier

Reopening space frontier 200

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  • Title: Reopening the Space Frontier
  • Author(s): John Hickman
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Technology, Knowledge & Society
  • Keywords: Astronautics, United States, Outer space, Exploration, Manned space flight, Extraterrestrial bases, Astronautics and state, Space race
  • Date: November 23, 2010
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-800-2
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-801-9
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Hickman, John. 2010. Reopening the Space Frontier. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-801-9/CGP.
  • Extent: 186 pages

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Copyright © 2010, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved


Reopening the Space Frontier escapes the usual arc of space policy analysis focused on technological choice and instead explains the international legal and political economic barriers to the renewed exploration, development and settlement of celestial bodies like the Moon and Mars. The science and engineering of the mid-twentieth century were sufficient for human landings on the Moon. Yet today the human adventure in space is limited to visits by small numbers of astronauts to a single space station in Earth orbit. As the author explains, using the institutions that opened terrestrial geographic frontiers in the past provides the effective means for reopening the space frontier. Along the way he demolishes the wishful thinking that has shackled popular thinking about space policy. International competition rather than international cooperation motivated states to open terrestrial frontiers for centuries, and that motivation will have to be harnessed again for our species to permanently occupy other worlds of the solar system.