Should we colonize space? Some people argue that we need to decolonize it instead



<p clbad = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" Rich boys, they love the rocket ships "President Donald Trump said during a recent cabinet meeting, according to The Washington Post ." That's fine. It's better than us paying for them. "On Thursday, Trump signed a set of directives meant moving the burden of government space exploration to businesses, but not everyone agrees that leaving room for commercial regency is better: Governments are more likely to guarantee that space exploration benefits a wider swath of society. " data-reactid = "11"> "Rich kids, they love rockets," President Donald Trump said during a recent cabinet meeting, according to The Washington Post . "That's good, it's better than us paying for them." On Thursday, Trump signed a set of directives aimed at shifting the burden of government space exploration to businesses. But not everyone agrees that leaving space for the commercial regency is better: governments are more likely to guarantee that space exploration benefits a wider range of society.

A crude picture of how our future would be in space came during the historic launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in February. The company was summoned to overwhelmingly white and male engineering personnel on display during the broadcast. (SpaceX did not respond to an interview request for this story.)

Whether governments or companies in charge, some experts argue that a place to start is to examine the words we use to talk about space. Many subtly or shamelessly reflect unpleasant aspects of our history here on Earth, such as systematic oppression and murder that still produce inequality today. Although "manned" missions have fallen out of favor, plutocrats dream of "colonizing" Mars and filling their coffers by "exploiting" extraterrestrial resources.

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<p clbad = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" The language is one of the ways in which we configure our social reality, "said Zuleyka Zevallos, a sociologist at Swinburne University in Australia, Newsweek which means that using terms like colonize carries real risks." The history of colonialism has taught us that there is no democratic way to colonize other lands, "he said. It's about profits and profit always marginalizes minorities. " data-reactid = "15"> "Language is one of the ways in which we shape our social reality," said Zuleyka Zevallos, a sociologist at Swinburne University in Australia, Newsweek . That means that using terms like colonize carries real risks. "The history of colonialism has taught us that there is no democratic way to colonize other lands," he said. "It's about profits, and the benefit always marginalizes minorities."

<p clbad = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Qualities on the word colonize are not new: in the early days of space flight, the State Department tried to ban the term and Carl Sagan preferred space cities. But other visionaries at the time argued that it was a perfectly good term that I had good and bad reminders, Lucianne Walkowicz, an astrobiologist at the Adler Planetarium who currently spends a year in the Library of Congress studying the ethics of Mars exploration, says that they talk a lot about diversity in space. " data-reactid = "16"> Qualms on the word colonize are not new: in the first days of space flight, the State Department tried to ban the term and Carl Sagan preferred space cities. But other visionaries at the time argued that it was a perfectly good term that carried good and bad reminders. Lucianne Walkowicz, an astrobiologist at the Adler Planetarium who currently spends one year in the Library of Congress studying the ethics of Mars exploration, says that arguments like that say a lot about diversity in space.

"It tells you something about who manages the conversation if someone can talk about colonialism as a dispbadionate list of things that went well and badly," said Walkowicz. "For me, words are a symptom of the ways in which we create narratives that exclude people from imagining themselves in the future."

But commercial space companies do not have a monopoly on narratives. D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, an art historian and afrofuturist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, points to the example created by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space. Jemison's 100 Year Starship nonprofit initiative emphasizes the use of space technology to improve life on Earth and the frames travel around the phrase "establish a human presence."

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That term is a goal in more ways than one. But can we stop at just one presence? Duyst-Akpem is concerned that we go beyond a mere presence, given our myriad of pollution problems on Earth, from plastic bags in the Mariana Trench to old spacecraft in orbit. "It seems that there are some fundamental behavioral problems with humans that must be addressed before we can really trust that we do well on other planets," he said.

<p clbad = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "A group that wants to establish something more than a A simple presence on Mars is the Mars Society, a group of members dedicated to establishing humans on Mars, whose founder, Robert Zubrin, said that the only word he departs from is colony, preferring ] agreement because the former "confuses the problem with imperialism." He also argues that excluding the extraterrestrial natives, the history of the colonization of the Earth is not really relevant. "On Mars, we have the opportunity to create something new with clean hands, "he said." We do not go to Mars to steal another property from the people, we go to Mars to create, not only property, but a society. " data-reactid = "21"> One gro What you want to establish perhaps more than just a presence on Mars is the Mars Society, a group of members dedicated to establishing humans on Mars. Its founder, Robert Zubrin, said that the only word it eludes is colony, preferring agreement because the first "confuses the problem with imperialism". But he also argues that he excludes extraterrestrials. natives, the history of the colonization of the Earth is not really relevant. "On Mars, we have the opportunity to create something new with clean hands," he said. "We do not go to Mars to steal the property of other people, we go to Mars to create, not only properties, but a society".

(Walkowicz replies that we are not positive, however, there is no life on Mars, and Zevallos says it does not matter because the use bleaching the history of colonialism on Earth.) If we make contact, it may be too late to change our approach "Using that word means you're already starting off on the wrong foot," said Corey Gray, principal operator of the LIGO gravitational wave detector in Washington and a member of the Siksika Nation. "Language is our first impression")

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