Sui04
Living in space - Earth orbit and beyond: a novel confluence of agency, culture, design, technology, and purpose

Convenors:
Karl Aspelund (University of Rhode Island)
Mae Jemison (100 Year Starship)
Stream:
Sui generis
Location:
VG 4.105
Start time:
28 March, 2017 at 16:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

How to dwell in outer space? When planning long-duration spaceflight, assumptions of humans' relationship to their environment need reconsidering. As Earth fades, what will nurture creativity, ritual, and community? What "inspired ethnographies" enable societal development? What stories to tell?

Long abstract:

"To successfully go to Mars and back you will need a song…" says poet Nikki Giovanni. Human missions to Mars by 2030 are in preparation. Researchers pursue capabilities required for human expeditions beyond our solar system by 2112. The numbers and diversity of people to live ever longer in space grow continually. Successful human expansion off Earth demands attendance to the confluence of agency, culture, design, technology, and purpose that lie in answers to: How shall we dwell in outer space? Space: a harsh, dangerous, vast tabula rasa, with untold opportunities to evolve humanity. Leaving Earth implies more than leaving landscapes. As we plan and engage in long-duration spaceflight, assumptions of humans' relationship to our entire environment must be reconsidered. Social, physical, creative, biological and spiritual aspects are open to restructuring. Physiological concerns in space are carefully studied, but not human behavioral and cultural constructs (and their health impacts.) Rigorous discussions must include: place-based ideas of culture and heritage; essential elements of Earth culture to bring; defining "space settler." As Earth fades in the distance, the more critical these become. What seeds and nurtures creativity, ritual, and communal bonding? What "inspired ethnographies" will enable societal development? What stories to tell in space? What stories on Earth? How will "Earthlings" react to a new "other"—space-based humans? This panel invites papers addressing factors of creating dwellings in space and the impact on current and future Earth dwellers. We especially welcome papers providing direction to research "first steps".