Space Tourism, the Anthropocene, and Sustainability

Sam Spector (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
James E. S. Higham (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Space Tourism

ISBN: 978-1-78973-496-6, eISBN: 978-1-78973-495-9

ISSN: 1571-5043

Publication date: 6 September 2019


Conceptualizations of sustainability and the Anthropocene are expressed in static terms, with the Earth’s biosphere viewed as imposing immutable limits. Yet, increased access to outer space, with tourism as an important facilitator, challenges past limitations. This chapter examines the implications of advances in space tourism for the concepts of sustainability and the Anthropocene. The former is complicated by access to outer space, which may bring about a raft of calamities but also potentially immense resources and even the possibility of ensuring our species’ long-term survival by settling the cosmos. This chapter also analyzes problems incurred by the Anthropocene’s emphasis on terrestrial geology in an era of increasing ability to leave the Earth.



Spector, S. and Higham, J.E.S. (2019), "Space Tourism, the Anthropocene, and Sustainability", Space Tourism (Tourism Social Science Series, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 245-262.

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