Today we are witnessing significant technological and entrepreneurial change in the space sector, signalling a transition away from state-based activity to smaller, often venture-capital backed companies seeking new opportunities and profits from outer space.

These range from the design, launch and use of satellite systems, emerging markets in space tourism, to companies setting their sights on providing the goods and services required to support the expansion of human economic systems in the solar system, such as mining the moon or asteroids for resources.

Such developments have produced a burgeoning set of theorising about the roles of venture capitalism, innovation, and knowledge networks in space economies. We ask:

  • What commercial expectations about the future are shaping commercial and state-led ventures in outer space in European and global contexts?
  • How can social science better understand the role of venture capitalism, innovation, and knowledge networks in space economies?
  • What can a longer view of humans in outer space provide? 

Our researchers

Key Selected publications 

  • Rees, A. (2022). Alien Speculation: Science, Fiction and the Future. In G. Morgan (Ed.), Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination (pp. 170-193). Thames and Hudson.
  • Tutton, R. (2020) Sociotechnical Imaginaries as Techno-Optimism: Examining Outer Space Utopias of Silicon Valley', Science as Culture, 30(3): 416-439.