Terrestrial Environments of Outer Space II

Type: Virtual Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Julie Klinger
Chairs: Eleanor Armstrong

Call for Submissions

Recognizing that geographers of outer space have multiple empirical and theoretical engagements, this will be organized as a virtual panel session in which panelists briefly share relevant work, findings, and theorizations. This will follow with a moderated discussion in which panelists think collaboratively about environmental and climate (in)justice in relation to outer space work. The organizers and panelists will collaboratively develop a series of questions in advance of the panel session.

We especially encourage contributions on:
- Access to space-based systems in national and international systems (e.g. restrictions through political treaties, geographical location)
- Decolonial feminist approaches to terrestrial relationships with Outer Space
- Indigenous perspectives and protagonism in outer space science, ethics, and policy
- Geographies of terrestrial Outer Space Infrastructure (launch sites, telescopes, technology development)
- Geographies of waste, salvage, and reclamation
- Nationalist constructions of Outer Space geographies
- Privatisation of space assets and Outer Space projects
- Racialised, gendered, and racist relationships to space science (e.g. education in, employment in, displacement through development, benefit from)
- Relationships of terrestrial warfare with Outer Space
- Resource (land, capital, human) use in Outer Space
- Space assets and environmental justice in addressing (inter)national climate change and natural disasters
- Surveillance, data democracy, and social movements
- Methods of measuring human and non-human relationships with terrestrial environments of Outer Space


Building on five years of Outer Space sessions at the AAG, this panel convenes current critical engagements with the (extra-)terrestrial, its material impacts on Earth and its human and non-human inhabitants. We situate this session within two of the thematic emphases of AAG 2021: Geographies of Access: Inclusion and Pathways and the Processes of Ethnonationalism and Exclusion around the World, in order to shed light on the manners in which outer space, space-based technologies, and terrestrial environments are entangled with more familiar domains of critical geographical inquiry. Previous sessions have explored the geographies of non-Earth spaces, the critical geopolitics of outer space, human rights issues, non-Earth spaces and public engagement, democratization and (de)politicization of non-Earth places and related technologies. The 2021 panels explore the terrestrial locations of Outer Space work. While Outer Space can be understood as “out there” much of work that generates space-related knowledge and politics takes places in terrestrial environments, “down here.” From launch sites to telescopes, to offices and remote working practices, to colonial uses of indigenous lands, to analogue Outer Space environments, there is often a focus on researchers and professionals involved in Outer Space work within exclusive sites. In this session, we draw attention to those displaced, impacted by, excluded from, or allowed conditional access to the terrestrial environments and artifacts (objects, waste, data) of Outer Space.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Eleanor Armstrong University of Delaware 12
Panelist Maya Cruz University of California, Davis 12
Panelist A.R.E. Taylor University of Cambridge 12
Panelist Brad Tabas ENSTA BRETAGNE 12
Panelist Savannah Mandel Virginia Tech 12
Discussant Julie Klinger University of Delaware 12

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