Nobody Owns the Moon

The Ethics of Space Exploitation


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About the Book

Space exploration and off-world commercial activity engage the attention of both enthusiasts and skeptics. Despite differing opinions, what does seem clear is that such activity has increased and is set to expand further—and dramatically so—during the present century.
This book explores some of the ethical issues of the emerging space frontier and evaluates the prospects for the medium-range future: Can terraforming of other worlds succeed? Would it be defensible? Should there be limits to mining in space? Do lifeless planets have an integrity that ought to be respected? Could indigenous microbacteria have intrinsic value? Do we have a duty to extend human life?
The ethics of sending generation ships on interstellar journeys and the risks associated with seeding other worlds with rudimentary forms of life are also discussed. As exploration is as much about humanity as it is about space, the book concludes with a study of the connection between the sharing of a home planet and membership of a single moral community.

About the Author(s)

Tony Milligan is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and specializes in ethics.

Bibliographic Details

Tony Milligan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7265-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1839-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi

Introduction  1

One. Is Terraforming Possible?  7

Two. The Ethics of ­World-Changing  16

Three. Tourists and Enthusiasts  33

Four. Space Ethics as Dilemmatic  49

Five. The Duty to Extend Human Life  60

Six. Space Skepticism  77

Seven. Mining ­Off-World  90

Eight. Planetary Protection  101

Nine. All the Small Things  116

Ten. Generation Ships  134

Eleven. Seeding Other Worlds  152

Twelve. Our Earthliness  165

Chapter Notes  179

Bibliography  183

Index  187