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Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space

Contributed by Jason Arias on May 20th, 2022. Artwork published in
November 2021
.
    Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space 1
    Source: www.versobooks.com Verso Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Pitch Sans is being used for the cover of Fred Scharmen’s critical history of life in outer space. From Verso Books:

    The radical history of space exploration from the Russian Cosmists to Elon Musk

    Many societies have imagined going to live in space. What they want to do once they get up there – whether conquering the unknown, establishing space “colonies,” privatising the moon’s resources – reveals more than expected. In this fascinating radical history of space exploration, Fred Scharmen shows that often science and fiction have combined in the imagined dreams of life in outer space, but these visions have real implications for life back on earth.

    For the Russian Cosmists of the 1890s space was a place to pursue human perfection away from the Earth. For others, such as Wernher von Braun, it was an engineering task that combined, in the Space Race, the Cold War, and during World War II, with destructive geopolitics. Arthur C. Clark in his speculative books offered an alternative vision of wonder that is indifferent to human interaction. Meanwhile NASA planned and managed the space station like an earthbound corporation. Today, the market has arrived into outer space and exploration is the plaything of superrich technology billionaires, who plan to privatise the mineral wealth for themselves. Are other worlds really possible?

    Bringing these figures and ideas together reveals a completely different story of our relationship with outer space, as well as the dangers of our current direction of extractive capitalism and colonisation.

    Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space 2
    Source: www.versobooks.com Verso Books. License: All Rights Reserved.

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