Skip to main content Accessibility help

The New Space Age in the making: Emergence of exo-mining, exo-burials and exo-marketing

  • Klara Anna Capova (a1)


At the beginning of the 21st century we witness considerable global developments in space exploration and a new era has begun: the New Space Age. The principal symbols of that age are firstly internationalization of space activities, secondly commercial utilization of space technologies, and lastly emergence of outer space economy. This paper presents selected signposts of the New Space Age. Three cases of recent outer space enterprises: recovery of asteroid resources (exo-mining), post-cremation memorial spaceflight (exo-burials) and first extraterrestrial advert (exo-marketing), are introduced in order to emphasize the monetary and social dimension of commercial application of space technologies. To give an illustration of these trends, this paper provides a brief socioculturally minded account of three outer space undertakings that are interpreted as signposts of the new era.


Corresponding author


Hide All
* This paper is dedicated to the memory of my father Frantisek Augustyn Cap (1945–2016).



Hide All
Barras, C. (2008). First space ad targets hungry aliens. New Scientist, June 12.
Buxton, C.R. (2004). Property in outer space: the common heritage of mankind principle vs. the ‘first in time, first in right’ rule of property law. J. Air Law Commer. 6, 94.
Capova, K.A. (2013). The Charming Science of the Other: the cultural analysis of the scientific search for life beyond earth. PhD Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, United Kingdom.
Collins, M.J. (1999). Space race: The US-USSR Competition to Reach the Moon. Pomegranate., San Francisco, USA.
Cosgrove, D. (1994). Contested global visions: one-world, whole-earth, and the Apollo space photographs. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 842, 270294.
Cutting, A. (2009). Ashes in orbit: celestis spaceflights and the invention of post-cremationist afterlives. Sci. Cult. 18, 355369.
De Man, P. (2011). The commercial exploitation of outer space and celestial bodies – a functional solution to the natural resource challenge. In New Perspectives on Space Law. Proc. of the 53rd IISL Colloquium on The Law of Outer Space, pp. 43–69. International Institute of Space Law, Prague.
Harding, S. (1992). After Eurocentrism: challenges for the philosophy of science. In PSA: Proc. of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, pp. 311319.
Hearsey, C.M. (2008). A Review of Challenges to Corporate Expansion into Outer Space, pp. 18. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, San Diego, CA.
H.R.2262 U.S. (2015). Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, 114th Congress 2015–2016. (accessed 17 December 2015).
Hulsroj, P. (2002). Beyond global: the international imperative of space. Space Policy 18, 107116.
Kerrest, A. (2011). Outer space as international space: lessons from Antarctica. Sci. Diplomacy: Antarct. Sci. Gov. Int. Spaces 133142.
Masson-Zwaan, T., (2010). Regulation of sub-orbital space tourism in europe: a role for EU/EASA? Air and Space Law. 35, 263272.
McGovern, J. (2008). How to make a bad first impression. Astronomy, June 13.
Nelson, T.G., (2015). Mining outer space: Who owns the asteroids? New York Law Journal, July 29, 2015.
Olson, V.A. (2012). Political ecology in the extreme: asteroid activism and the making of an environmental solar system. Anthropol. Q. 85, 10271044.
Palgi, P. & Abramovitch, H. (1984). Death: a cross-cultural perspective. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 13, 385417.
Pepsico UK & Ireland (2012). One small step for man, one giant leap for advertising. (accessed 17 December 2015).
Peter, N. (2006). The changing geopolitics of space activities. Space Policy 22, 100109.
Race, M. (2011). Policies for scientific exploration and environmental protection: comparison of the Antarctic and outer space treaties. In Science Diplomacy: Antarctica, Science and the Governance of International Spaces, ed. Berkman, P.A., Lang, M.A., Walton, D.W.H. & Young, O.R., pp. 143152. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Tatsuzawa, K. (1988). The regulation of commercial space activities by the non-Governmental entities in Space Law. International Institute for Space Law, 88-083. (accessed 17 December 2015).
UN (1966). 2222 (XXI) Treaty on Principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies. Adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 1962 (XVIII) in 1963.
UN (1979). Multilateral Agreement governing the activities of States on the moon and other celestial bodies. Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 5 December 1979.
White, W.N., 1998. Real property rights in outer space. In Proceedings, 40th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space (Vol. 370). Vancouver
Zaitsev, A. 2012. Classification of interstellar radio messages. Acta Astron., 78, 1619.
Celestis: Memorial Spaceflight Services (2015). viewed 17 December 2015.
Planetary Resources (2015). Viewed 17 December 2015. http://



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed