Conclusion: the future of outer space

Peter Dickens, James Ormrod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


The concluding chapter argues for the value in Lefebvre’s theoretical framework in grappling with emergent issues concerning our relationship with outer space. The first concerns what some have seen as the closing of the space frontier, with any meaningful distinction between terrestrial space and the rest of the cosmos now eroded. The conquest of outer space can be seen as representing the ultimate victory of what Lefebvre called ‘abstract space’, the space created through accumulation. Yet, as a number of the contributions to the book demonstrate, the appeal of outer space has been, and remains, in the promise of conquering the wondrous or Godly. And if many had turned their attention from outer space to cyberspace, there are signs that their gazes are again being turned outwards. Lefebvre’s work also gave special importance to the human body. The chapter explores whether the body in outer space should be construed and treated as a ‘post-human’, ‘cyborg’, entity, one fused into new technologies and made capable of indefinite expansion into the universe or as something essentially fragile. Finally, the conclusion examines the utopian potentials of outer space, not just as a literary setting, but as a heterotopic site of material resistance to terrestrial power relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of society, culture and outer space
EditorsJames Ormrod, Peter Dickens
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781137363510
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


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