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Not since man set foot on the moon over four decades ago has there been such passion and excitement about space exploration. This enthusiasm and eagerness has been spurred on by the fact that for the first time since the very beginning of the space age, space travel is no longer limited to an elite group of highly trained and well-disciplined military officers and test pilots. Instead, we must understand that the possibility of commercial space travel is already on our horizon and that it comes with a number of significant practical and moral challenges. Our level of scientific development and ability to influence international affairs and policy confers upon us an obligation to study the ethical, legal and social considerations associated with space exploration and understanding the potential consequences from the beginning is critical.
This volume provides the first comprehensive and unifying analysis concerning the rise of private space exploration, with a view toward developing policy that may influence real-world decision making. The plethora of questions demanding serious attention - privatisation and commercialisation, the impact on the environment, health futures, risk assessment, responsibility and governance - are directly addressed in this scholarly work.