Cislunar space is the name for the volume of space between Earth and Moon. This space is sparsely occupied, mainly by one international space station and a steady growth of satellites and space junk in orbit around Earth. Now and then, an asteroid passes by close enough to earn it the name near-Earth-object or – if a piece is knocked off and hits Earth – a meteorite. Yet the industry derived from commercial space activities in cis-lunar space is projected by leading American investment banks to grow within the next 30 years to form an economy of almost $2,7 trillion – up from 350 billion today. This projection is in and of itself instrumental in realizing what it prophesizes – investors and businesses are scrambling to be part of the new great space adventure. So how does one, as an anthropologist, study what in investment circles are called “the industrialization of outer space” projected to take place in the coming decades? Might one explore what could be called the ecology of cis-lunar space? Ecology here taken to designate the relationship between organisms and their environment. The organisms under scrutiny then would not be bio-organisms belonging the Earth’s biosphere. Rather they would be human thoughts, visions, and ideas as expressed in business cases and investment strategies that belong to the ‘planetary sphere of reason’ that Vladimir Vernadsky called the noosphere.
Image: Noosphere by Philip Beesley from wikicommons