The Routledge Handbook of Social Studies of Outer Space offers state-of-the-art overview of contemporary social and cultural research on outer space. International in scope, the thirty-eight contributions by over fifty leading researchers and artists across a variety of disciplines and fields of knowledge, present a range of debates and pose key questions about the crafting of futures in relation to outer space. The Handbook is a call to attend more carefully to engagements with outer space, empirically, affectively, and theoretically, while characterizing current research practices and outlining future research agendas. This recalibration opens profound questions of intersectional politics, race, equity, and environmental justice around the contested topics of space exploration and life off-Earth. Among the many themes included in the volume are the various infrastructures, networks and systems that enable and sustain space exploration; space heritage; the ethics of outer space; social and environmental justice; fundamental debates about life in outer space as it pertains to both astrobiology and SETI; the study of scientific communities; the human body and consciousness; Indigenous astronomical systems of Knowledge; contemporary space art; and ongoing critical interventions to overcome the legacies of colonialism and dismantle hegemonic narratives of outer space.

chapter 1|21 pages

Social Studies of Outer Space

Pluriversal Articulations

part I|114 pages


chapter 4|13 pages

Space and Time through Material Culture

An Account of Space Archaeology

chapter 6|13 pages

Planetary Ethnography in a “SpaceX Village”

History, Borders, and the Work of “Beyond”

chapter 7|12 pages

The Spaces of Outer Space

chapter 9|13 pages

Space Ethics

chapter 10|16 pages

Other Worlds, Other Views

Contemporary Artists and Space Exploration

part II|77 pages

Intersections and Interventions

chapter 11|3 pages

As Above, So Below

Space and Race in the Space Race 1

chapter 12|16 pages

A Chronopolitics of Outer Space

A Poetics of Tomorrowing

chapter 13|14 pages

Feminist Approaches to Outer Space

Engagements with Technology, Labour, and Environment 1

chapter 15|14 pages

Diversity in Space

chapter 16|15 pages

Mare Incognito

Live Performance Art Linking Sleep with the Cosmos through Radio Waves

part III|93 pages

Colonial Histories and Decolonial Futures

chapter 18|12 pages

Coloniality and the Cosmos

chapter 20|11 pages

Anishinaabeg in Space

chapter 22|14 pages

Reconstellating Astroenvironmentalism

Borders, Parks, and Other Cosmic Imaginaries

chapter 23|13 pages

Divergent Extraterrestrial Worlds

Navigating Cosmo-Practices on Two Mountaintops in Thailand

part IV|54 pages

Objects, Infrastructures, Networks, and Systems

chapter 24|2 pages

A Glitch in Space

chapter 25|15 pages

Preparing for the “Internet Apocalypse”

Data Centres and the Space Weather Threat

chapter 27|12 pages

Mexico Dreams of Satellites

chapter 28|12 pages

Space Codes

The Astronaut and the Architect

part V|130 pages

Cultures in Orbit/Life in Space

chapter 29|6 pages

Cosmic Waters

chapter 31|12 pages

Living and Working in “The Great Outdoors”

Astronautics as Everyday Work in NASA's Skylab Programme

chapter 32|13 pages

Adapting to Space

The International Space Station Archaeological Project

chapter 34|14 pages

Plant Biologists and the International Space Station

Institutionalising a Scientific Community

chapter 35|13 pages

Whiteboards, Dancing, Origami, Debate

The Importance of Practical Wisdom for Astrophysicists and Instrument Scientists