The political context for human space exploration

  • Kai-Uwe Schrogl
Part of the Studies in Space Policy book series (STUDSPACE, volume 5)


Public and political discourses are often punctuated with unfair questions. Space activities seem to attract such unfair questions — in particular by the little minds. High-spirited activities such as humans in outer space and their visions risk being ridiculed or slammed. One such unfair question is: do astronauts solve any problems on Earth? It relates to the pressing questions our societies face in times of large financial and economic crises with a credit crunch, rising unemployment and lower living standards for many people. It also relates to global problems like securing peace, saving the environment or eradicating hunger and poverty in developing countries. Is there anything less likely to be a solution to these questions than sending humans into outer space? Certainly not, to be honest. So the strategy should be to refrain from entering into such debates, which are predestined to be lost.


Space Activity Space Exploration Political Context Outer Space Space Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 6.
    Bush, George W. “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery. The President’s Vision for U.S. Space Exploration.” Jan. 2004 White House 5 Jan. 2010.
  2. 7.
    An interesting ethical approach is provided by Arnould, Jacques. La Seconde Chance d’Icare: Pour une Éthique de l’Espace. Paris: Le Cerf, 2001.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    See Schrogl, Kai-Uwe and Nicola Rohner. “Für einen neuen Ansatz zur Begründung der Raumfahrt.” Die Zukunft der Raumfahrt — Ihr Nutzen und Ihr Wert. Eds. Gethmann, Carl Friedrich, Nicola Rohner and Kai-Uwe Schrogl. Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler: Europäische Akademie GmbH, 2007: 139–142.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    For a special view on this question see: Baum, Seth D. “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Space Exploration: Some Ethical Considerations.” Space Policy 25.2 (2009): 75–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 10.
    An exemplary expression of this leadership is contained in the book by former Moon astronaut and Senator Schmitt, Harrison H. Return to the Moon. Exploration, Enterprise, and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space. New York: Copernicus Books, 2006.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    See Hansel, Mischa. “The Political Dimension of Europe’s New Spaceflight Capabilities.” Yearbook on Space Policy 2007/2008: From Policies to Programmes. Eds. Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Nicolas Peter, Charlotte Mathieu. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009: 188–195.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    See Worms, Jean-Claude. “Exploration — How Science finds its Way in Europe.” Yearbook on Space Policy 2007/2008: From Policies to Programmes. Eds. Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Nicolas Peter, Charlotte Mathieu. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009: 196–209.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Codignola, Luca and Kai-Uwe Schrogl, eds. Humans in Outer Space — Interdisciplinary Odysseys. Vienna: SpringerWienNewYork, 2009.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    “Vienna Vision on Humans in Outer Space.” Oct. 2007. European Space Policy Institute 5 Jan. 2010.
  10. 15.
    This and the following section are drawing from two recent ESPI publications, both prepared by Peter, Nicolas. “Space Exploration 2025: Global Perspectives and Options for Europe.” ESPI Report 14. Vienna: ESPI, 2008.; “Issues Underlying Space Exploration in Europe.” Briefing Note for the European Parliament. Vienna: ESPI, 2009. issues%20underlying%20space%20exploration%20europe.pdf.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Martin, Parker. “Managing Space, Organising the Sublime.” (in this volume) gives interesting insights in the managment structure preceeding the U.S. Apollo Moon landing. Europe could draw on the lessons learned from the U.S. experience.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    N. B. Schrogl is here referring to students on Earth and not the students of space settlers as described by Alan Britton. “A School Curriculum for the Children of Space Settlers.” (in this volume).Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    On the competition between the space powers see: Schaffer, Audrey M. “What do Nations Want from International Collaboration for Space Exploration?” Space Policy 24.2 (2008): 95–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 19.
    Cockell, Charles. “Ethics and extraterrestrial life.” (in this volume).Google Scholar
  15. 20.
    Kant, Immanuel. Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie Des Himmels oder Versuch von der Verfassung und dem mechanischen Ursprange des ganzen Weltgebäudes, nach Newtonischen Grundsätzen abgehandelt. Stadt: Verlad, 1755.Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    Kant, Immanuel. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. Translated by Ian Johnston. Canada: Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia, 1755.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai-Uwe Schrogl

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations