Political Ecology in the Extreme: Asteroid Activism and the Making of an Environmental Solar System
- Anthropological Quarterly
- George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
- Volume 85, Number 4, Fall 2012
- pp. 1027-1044
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- Additional Information
This case study examines how, in a post-Cold War context, aerospace and astronautics practices and policies are becoming more comprehensively attached to national and international environmental politics. This is evident in the emergence of a dual identity for Near Earth Objects (asteroids and comets with orbits that bring them close to the Earth); they are astronomical as well as environmental objects that are considered to be threats as well as exploitable natural resources. The paper investigates two results of this dual categorization: 1) activist efforts to extend environmental governance beyond the terrestrial and 2) new technoscientific perceptions of the solar system as a heliospheric ecology.