Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures

Why should we go to space? To learn more about the universe and our place in it? To extract resources and conduct commerce? To demonstrate national primacy and technological prowess? To live and thrive in radically different kinds of human communities? Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities takes on the challenge of imagining new stories at the intersection of public and private—narratives that use the economic and social history of exploration, as well as current technical and scientific research, to inform scenarios for the future of the “new space” era.

Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities provides fresh insights into human activity in Low Earth Orbit, journeys to Mars, capturing and mining asteroids, and exploring strange and uncharted exoplanets. Its stories and essays imagine human expansion into space as a kind of domestication—not in the sense of taming nature but in the sense of creating a space for dwelling, a venue for human life and curiosity to unfurl in all their weirdness and complexity.

Stories by: Madeline Ashby, Steven Barnes, Eileen Gunn, Ramez Naam, Carter Scholz, Karl Schroeder, Vandana Singh

Essays by: Jim Bell, Lawrence Dritsas, Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Emma Frow, Roland Lehoucq, Andrew D. Maynard, Clark A. Miller, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Steve Ruff, William K. Storey, Sara Imari Walker, G. Pascal Zachary

Interview with: Kim Stanley Robinson

Edited by: Ed Finn and Joey Eschrich, with guest editor Juliet Ulman

Assessment Coordinator: Mateo Pimentel

Team Coordinator: Alissa Haddaji

This project was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant number NNX15AI31G. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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