Beyond Earth: Policy For Space Settlers
We are witnessing the beginning of an age of space settlement; these settlements would require their own systems of governance and justice. The report authors suggested that policymaking for the people in space is integral and should move beyond an aspirational stage.
In an FPA brief, President FPA, Ian Williams discussed the latest report by Beyond Earth Institute concerning the need for space policymaking in an emerging space-industrial ecosystem, which would ultimately lead to a beyond earth migration. The report authors Courtney Stadd, Beyond Earth Institute Vice President and Robert Brumley, along with Steven Wolfe, Co-founder and President of the Institute explained the report and its implications to FPA. The report focused on the real-time advancements in the space technology and the future of space ecosystems.
We are witnessing the beginning of an age of space settlement; these settlements would require their own systems of governance and justice. The report authors suggested that policymaking for the people in space is integral and should move beyond an aspirational stage. Steven Wolfe demanded that America should focus on tangible and practical international policies that determine the future of space so that it may not be left behind.
The report concerns itself with the idea that settlement would mean the beginning of multiple industries and sectors in space, which include economic frameworks, space trade policies, beyond earth manufacturing, space recycling plants etc. These sectors would require their guidelines and frameworks and their implementation by the government in space. The governing body in space could be similar to the Antarctica Convention, where all states have peaceful coexistence. On the industrial and economic front, the report authors suggest public-private partnerships where the tax-payer money would go into facilitating private industrial feats. Furthermore, the space settlement would be open for all, where people would pay for living while the larger majority would be the families of the workers.
The guest speakers also presented their suggestion for the government to build a Beyond Earth Working Group (BEWG). This working group would be similar to the President Reagan’s administrations working group and task force which were delegated the power to facilitate the policymaking and commercialization of space. Courtney Stadd, co-Author of the report, also worked with Reagan administration and now suggests that it is high time for a similar working group to be established by the government. The authors states that the BEWG would work as “an interagency body directed to promote, facilitate and publicly promulgate- not study- the policies, incentives, investments, laws and regulations essential to expedite the migration of humankind beyond Earth.”
Additionally, the authors also discussed the future plans of NASA with respect to human space migration and their budget. In short, the march of humanity beyond earth is inevitable, which makes it crucial for the US government to devise a body specifically empowered to decide how the space dwellers would be governed. You can learn about it in detail in the FPA brief available online.