Law is not immutable; it responds to the needs of society. Since World War 11, humanity has moved increasingly into outer space, encountering new conditions and new needs along the way. The law of outer space has addressed the new political, economic, and technical needs that accompany this transit of human society into space. Space law has been expressed in broad, vague principles that have permitted the maximum flexibility necessary for exploratory space activities. But, as exploration gives way to settlement, this predominantly international law lacks the specificity and legal certainty necessary for mature commercial activity.
Space industrialization is confronting space law with problems that are changing old and shaping new legal principles. Manufacturing in space (Space Manufacturing a. Latex beads produced in the microgravity of space b. Latex beads produced in Earth's gravity In the microgravity of low Earth orbit, perfectly uniform spheres of latex can be manufactured. Compare these produced on the Space Shuttle (a) with those produced on Earth (b). Note that the products influenced by gravity are of different sizes and sometimes deformed.) and exploiting nonterrestrial resources pose economic and political issues that the nations must address. Space exploration has been conducted in the names of peace and humanity; yet, the increasing awareness of the value of space exploration and space applications dictates a new consideration of the merits of international competition and international cooperation (A rendering of the cooperative shipping of lunar oxygen.)in space.
It is given that nations must pursue their national interests. The policymakers in the United States have not always considered well the national interest in space. This lack of policy sophistication resulted in part from arrogance over the American lead in space and in part from ignorance of the importance of space in the future balance of power. Today, with our dwindling lead and with the growing importance of space, the United States must negotiate its international space agreements with the same concern for national priorities that it has in any other international arena. Of course, in any given situation, either cooperation or competition may better serve the national interest.
The U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) is responsible for the major portion of international space law. It has negotiated five treaties. The first four, from 1967 to 1976, have been ratified by the United States, the Soviet Union, and many other nations, active and inactive in space. The fifth treaty, the Moon Treaty, was ratified by the U.N. in 1979 but has been ratified by only seven nations, none of whom has an active space program.
The first treaty, called the Outer Space Treaty or Principles Treaty, has been ratified or acceded to by almost 100 nations. Its broad principles provide the foundation and the philosophy for activities in outer space-that is, a commitment to explore space in peace and for the benefit of all humanity. The second, 1968 treaty the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts (a rendering of a space Station Emergency Rescue Vehicle by Artist David Russell), the Return of Astronauts, and the Return of Objects Launched Into Outer Space-expands on the 1967 principle that astronauts are the "envoys" of humanity who should be honored and assisted in every respect (U.S. Senate 1978).
Ratified in 1973, the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (a photo of NASA engineers plotting the final footprint of Skylab as it falls into the Ocean near Australia) spells out many of the liabilities and duties of spacefarers and describes a procedure to enforce these obligations. The final major treaty, the 1976 Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched Into Outer Space, expands on the 1967 principle that nations retain jurisdiction over and responsibility for their facilities and objects in space. It mandates that a nation register its launch with a U.N. Registry, and thereby legitimate that nation's jurisdiction over the vessel or facility.
The 1979 Moon Treaty builds on another 1967 principle, space for the benefit of mankind, to dictate an international regime that will be established at a future date to regulate space resources "in place," declared now the " common heritage of mankind." Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union is likely to sign this treaty. Nor is the treaty likely to gain wide acceptance, authority, or standing as law. Nevertheless, the treaty does represent the most complete international effort to date to deal with the legal and public questions of colonizing and exploiting space.
This thumbnail sketch of space law has been neither comprehensive nor detailed, but it provides a background suggesting serious legal-political problems that will confront the first efforts to mine and use the resources of the Moon and other celestial bodies (Goldman 1988).
The utilization of space resources will raise many issues that diplomats and international lawyers need to consider. This section identifies only four of these issues: (1) international competition and cooperation, (2) property rights and nonterrestrial mining, (3) legal liability and responsibility, and (4) environmental impact.
International cooperation is a theme that pervades the legal regime of space. According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, space is to be used for "the benefit of mankind" (Article 1). Nations cannot annex or appropriate outer space or the celestial bodies (Article 11). The United States has always balanced these more altruistic principles against a second theme: nations are permitted by the treaty to "use" and exploit space. As participant in the negotiations and ever since, the United States has always argued that nations can mine and (A picture of the Oklahoma Land Rush april 22, 1889) claim resources "in place" even under the 1979 Moon Treaty (Christol 1982, pp. 293-296). Of course, separate from the legal issue, the United States will need to make a political decision whether to proceed alone or in consortium with other nations. Such cooperation may offset opposition to it activities from many governments, especially in the Third World. Cooperation spreads the risks (Rendering by Artis Paul Fjeld of Space Station Freedom) and the cost of the program; all partners gain from the expertise of the others. Then, the partners can share the technical riches of so momentous an undertaking.
According to the present space law, all mining in space-lunar, asteroidal, or planetary-is treated alike. The operative treaty provisions are (1) that space is reserved for the benefit and is the province of all mankind; (2) that every nation shall have equal access to outer space; (3) that nations cannot appropriate space under any claim of national sovereignty; (4) nevertheless, that nations are free to explore and "use" outer space. The official positiion of the United States. clearly enunciated in the debates of UNCOPUOS, interprets these provisions to permit any nation or corporation to mine (Artist Pat Rawlings rendering of lunar mining and processing) and otherwise use the resources of outer space.
Even under the rather anticapitalist Moon Treaty, the official position of the U.S. negotiators in UNCOPUOS has been that the treaty permitted companies and nations to mine the Moon. For instance, light elements hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon-exist in limited quantities in the lunar soil, and frozen water may exist in larger amounts at the lunar poles. Under the longstanding U.S. legal interpretation, the nation finding these resources will be able to mine them. The nation will not own the site, but its labor will attach ownership to the ore (Christol 1982, pp. 39-43). American legal and political planners need to consider the scenario in which spacefarers from another nation go to the Moon and find a singular deposit of volatiles.
American negotiators of the Moon Treaty have argued that the treaty language prohibiting ownership of space resources "in place" means that when the resources have been removed from "in place," personal labor attaches and the mining concern would own the extracted materials. The treaty also envisions that the signatory nations would "undertake" to establish an international regime when utilization of space resources becomes an active possibility. By analogy to the international regime described in the Law of the Sea Treaty (which transfers technology and proceeds from the resource developer to nonparticipants), the regime for space has been vilified by many writers and politicians, and this was a major issue in the defeat of the treaty. The interpretations of the U.S. negotiators evoke alternative regimes, including an international investment organization which nations could join if they desired. Intelsat, the International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, is such a model.
Although much of the world will object, the legal bottom line on mining nonterrestrial resources is that the United States, the Soviet Union, or any other nation that can get there can mine the Moon and other celestial bodies.
The case of the near-Earth asteroids, however, raises a trickier legal issue. Although a nation cannot appropriate a celestial body, it can use the resources. If space mining basically consumes an entire, small near-Earth asteroid, has the "use," become an "appropriation" of the celestial body? This situation appears to be another example in which the technologies have rendered the treaties obsolete. Perhaps the diplomats need to amend the treaties to redefine these smaller asteroids as a different class of celestial bodies.
Liability and Responsibility
According to the 1967 Treaty, nations are responsible for the space activities of their nationals (Article IV). The Liability Convention in 1973, moreover, established an absolute liability for damages on Earth caused by space activities. Liability based on fault is authorized for damage in space (Article 11). Therefore, if the United States decides to take in private industry as a partner in transporting or mining, the U.S. Government would have to monitor these partners closely.
The Liability Convention also provides that nations are jointly and severally liable for damages caused by their cooperative space effort (Articles IV and V). Although the memorandums of understanding or treaties among these national partners will apportion liability and provide a mechanism for settling disputes, the bottom line remains that one nation may be held liable for the entire accident.
Two broad concerns for space resources and environmental impact raise treaty issues: (1) back-contamination of Earth and (2) environmental protection of the celestial bodies. The Outer Space Treaty requires consultation about the environmental issues (Article IX). The Moon was seen as sterile, and the rules for back-contamination were not as strict as many scientists wanted. Mars and other celestial bodies may require a different set of regulations. The unratified Moon Treaty suggests that nonterrestrial sites of scientific interest should remain pristine (Photo of a footprint on the Moon).
The return to the Moon, the next logical step beyond the space station, will establish a permanent human presence there. Science and engineering, manufacturing and mining will involve the astronauts in the settlement of the solar system. These pioneers, eventually from many nations, will need a legal, political, and social framework to structure their lives and interactions. International and even domestic space law are only the beginning of this framework. Dispute resolution and simple experience will be needed in order to develop, over time, a new social system for the new regime of space.
Strategies for Broadening Public Involvement in Space Developments
Philip R. Harris et al.
There is widespread public interest in and goodwill toward the space program. For NASA's plans for the next 25 years to be achieved, this public reservoir of support needs to be tapped and channeled. NASA endeavors have to reach out beyond the scientific, technological, and aerospace communities to foster wider participation in space exploration and exploitation. To broaden NASA support and spread out the financing of space activities, we offer these recommendations for consideration.
For anticipated space missions to be carried out, new sources of income and financial participation should be sought. NASA can no longer operate merely on the basis of annual Federal appropriations. A national commission of financial experts and venture capitalists might be established to analyze the alternatives, recommend to the President and Congress policies and procedures for the public sector, and propose space investments for the private sector. These are a few of the options to be analyzed:
NASA needs to decide among the alternative scenarios for space development up to 2010. A plan with specific goals, time targets, and estimated costs, including locations in space and required technology, should be summarized in a case for investment, which is then communicated to all NASA constituencies through a variety of modern media. Using the journalistic who, what, when, where, why, and how as a framework, this case could be put forth in publications, films, videos, and public presentations. To carry this message to the point where public support is transformed into financial contributions, we recommend that NASA focus on the space station, a lunar base, and unmanned explorations, especially of Mars, (Artist Ken Hodges rendering of a Mars Rover Sample Return) for the next quarter century. Special briefing workshops might be held for the members of the House and Senate and their staffs, the media and business leaders. Emphasis should be on the commercial promise of space.
The following means or sources of assistance should be examined:
In order to widen institutional support beyond space scientists and engineers, these steps might be considered to enlist professionals and academics in the process of planning space communities:
At first glance, anthropology might not seem to have much to contribute to such a highly technical and futuristic enterprise as expanding into space. For example, a recent NASA publication entitled Social Sciences and Space Exploration includes chapters on economics, history, international relations and law, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and future studies, but not on anthropology (Cheston, Chafer, and Chafer 1984). That omission is perhaps understandable, because anthropologists have typically focused on the long past of humanity rather than on its future and, when they have studied living peoples, they have usually worked with small tribal or peasant groups rather than with large industrial societies. Yet, despite this seeming fascination with the archaic and the small-scale, the perspective of anthropology applied to space can help us comprehend the human implications of leaving Earth and can facilitate that process.
First, and most important, anthropology offers a perspective on humankind that extends back some five million years to the appearance of the first hominids, but it does not end with the evolution of modern human beings and the development of the current high-technology society. Anthropology can help us think about where we are going as well as where we have been. From the perspective of anthropology, we can view our species as an exploring, colonizing animal which has learned to develop the technology to migrate to, and flourish in, environments for which we are not biologically adapted (Finney and Jones 1985). This process began when our distant ancestors developed those first tools for hunting and gathering (see fig.1 Biruta Akerbergs rendering of the Beginnings of technology), and there is no end in sight. Settling the Moon, Mars, or even more distant bodies represents an extension of our terrestrial behavior, not a departure from it. The technology of space travel, artificial biospheres, and the like may be immensely more complicated than anything heretofore developed on Earth. But, in voyaging into space and attempting to live there, we are doing what comes naturally to us as an expansionary, technological species.
Yet, settling in space will be a revolutionary act, because leaving Earth to colonize new worlds will change humankind utterly and irreversibly. Anthropologists focus on technological revolutions and their social consequences. The original technological revolution, that of toolmaking, made us human. The agricultural revolution led to the development of villages, cities, and civilization. The industrial revolution and more recent developments have fostered the current global economy and society. Now, this same anthropological perspective tells us that the space revolution is inevitably leading humanity into an entirely new and uncharted social realm.
Speculation about revolutionary developments is not, however, immediately relevant to a most pressing question about human adaptation to space: How can groups of people live and work together without psychological impairment or the breakdown of social order in the space stations, lunar bases, and Mars expeditions now being planned? Psychological and social problems in space living constitute, as both Soviet and American space veterans attest (Bluth 1981, Carr 1981), major barriers to be overcome in the humanization of space.
Coping with isolation from Earth, family, and friends and with the cramped confines of a space module or station has been enough of a challenge for carefully selected and highly trained spacefarers of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. As those cosmonauts who have been "pushing the endurance envelope" the farthest attest, staying longer and longer in space provokes severe psychological strain (Bluth 1981; Grigoriev, Kozerenko, and Myasnikov 1985; Oberg 1985, p. 21). Now life in space is becoming even more complicated as "guest cosmonauts" from many nations join Soviet and American crews; as women join men; and as physicians, physicists, engineers, and other specialists routinely work alongside traditional cosmonauts and astronauts of the "right stuff" (see fig. 2 A Photo of the STS 51-D crew). How will all these different kinds of people get along in the space stations of the next decade and the lunar bases and martian outposts which are to follow? What measures can be taken which would reduce stress and make it easier for heterogeneous groups of people to work efficiently and safely and to live together amicably for months or even years in these space habitats?
Among social scientists it has been primarily the psychologists (Helmreich 1983), with a few jurists, sociologists, and political scientists joining in, who have tried to address these problems of space living. However, inasmuch as among the diverse lot of people who call themselves anthropologists there are those who are intensely interested in interpersonal relations and small group behavior, it should not be surprising that anthropologists might also be attracted to work in this field. Interestingly, some recent recruits come from maritime anthropology, where they have worked on the dynamics of smallboat fishing crews.
These and other anthropologists interested in space can bring to the field a degree of "hands-on" experience in working with "real" small groups-be they fishing crews, Antarctic scientists (see fig. 3 A photo of the American outpost station at the South Pole), or hunting and gathering bands (see fig. 4. A photo of Agta men burning hair and dirt from the skin of a wild pig.). And they bring a tradition of nonintrusive ethnographic observation and description, which might usefully supplement the more clinical and experimental approaches used by psychologists and other social science researchers. Beyond this, moreover, anthropologists can bring a needed cultural perspective to this pioneering phase of space living.
It is through the concept of "culture" that anthropology has made perhaps its greatest contribution to the formal understanding of human life. In this context, anthropologists mean by culture those patterns of beliefs, practices, and institutions shared by a particular ethnic population, a profession, a religion, or another grouping. This concept has diffused beyond the social sciences and, in the United States, has become a common tool for thinking about problems within our multicultural society. It has even crossed the threshold into big business and government agencies such as NASA. One can now read books extolling the "culture" of this or that successful corporation, and I have heard NASA managers explain differences between the Johnson Space Center and other NASA centers as being "cultural" in nature. Here I wish to suggest two specific areas in which this cultural perspective of anthropology could be useful: (1) in addressing the problems of cross-cultural relations among heterogeneous space crews and societies and (2) in the application of cultural resources to develop models for space living.
First, consider the issue of crosscultural personal relations on international space missions. Space is no longer an arena for just two nations. More and more citizens from a growing number of countries are joining their Soviet and American colleagues in space. A list of guest Astronauts and Cosmonauts.
Guest Astronauts and Cosmonauts
Foreign Payload Specialists on the Space Shuttle
If this trend continues, it would be easy to imagine a time when crews aboard permanent space stations or the inhabitants of a lunar base would in effect form miniature multicultural societies.
It could be argued that the highly trained and motivated persons who would participate in such future missions would share a common hightechnology space culture that would submerge local cultural differences and any problems that might arise from these. That might describe some future situation wherein crewmembers grow up in a common space culture and thereby share common experiences, expectations, and values. However, as long as crewmembers are born and reared in diverse terrestrial cultures, we cannot ignore cultural differences and their potential for generating problems during international missions.
Cultural misunderstandings, stemming from a difference in interpretation of a command or comment or from a clash in behavioral styles, might be deemed trivial and passed over in a terrestrial setting. But they could become greatly magnified on a hazardous mission where people must put up with one another in cramped quarters (see fig. 5. A photo of Cosmonauts in crapmped quarters during a Apollo-Soyuz test project.) for months, or perhaps even years, at a time. The Soviets, who have had the most experience with international spacefaring, have admitted to cultural difficulties even though their guests may speak Russian and share a common ideology with their hosts. As Vladimir Remek, a guest cosmonaut from Czechoslovakia, puts it, unique cultural "mental features" can "disrupt the harmony among crew members" (Bluth 1981, p. 34).
One prerequisite for group harmony is good interpersonal communication. Basic to that communication is what the anthropological linguist Edward Hall calls the "silent language" of facial expression, gesture, body posture, and interpersonal spacing (Hall 1959). Members of the same culture tend not to perceive how much is communicated nonverbally, because their shared ways of gesturing and moving their bodies may be so culturally ingrained as to be virtually unconscious. They can therefore be greatly taken aback when confronted with members of another culture who gesture or use their bodies differently. Americans, for example, commonly experience a bewildering sense of discomfort when conversing with Middle Easterners, who habitually stand closer to their conversational partner than the American norm. Conversely, Middle Easterners may interpret Americans' greater conversational distance as a sign of coldness or dislike. Take conversational distance and all the other elements of the "silent language," mix well with an international crew in a crowded space habitat (especially one located in a microgravity environment, where facial expressions are made even more difficult to read because of the puffiness of the face from fluid pooling in the head), and you have a recipe for cultural misunderstanding.2
Cultural factors should not, however, be viewed solely in terms of impediments to successful space living, for they may also constitute valuable human resources to be tapped in adapting to space. In addition to seeking to promote cultural harmony among heterogeneous space crews, we might also seek out, from the multitude of cultural traditions among the Earth's societies, those practices and institutions which could best promote harmonious and productive life in space.
As an example, consider interpersonal problems in a space habitat. J. Henry Glazer, an attorney who has pioneered the study of "astrolaw," warns against exporting to space communities the adversarial approach to dispute resolution based on "medieval systems of courtroom combat" (Glazer 1985, p. 16). In small space habitats, where people cannot escape from one another but must work out ways of interacting peacefully and productively, adversarial proceedings would irritate an already sensitive social field. And how could the winners and losers of bitter courtroom battles live and work with each other afterwards?
One obvious suggestion is that systems which are designed to detect interpersonal problems early and head them off through mediation should be considered for space living. Glazer, for example, calls for a new kind of legal specialist-not an adversarial advocate, but someone who settles disputes on behalf of the interests of all spacefarers on a mission. He draws his model from the Tabula de Amalfa the maritime code of the once powerful Mediterranean naval power of Amalfi. Their code provided for a " consul" who sailed aboard each merchant vessel with the power to adjudicate differences between master, crew, and others on board (Glazer 1985, pp. 26-27; Twiss 1876, p. 11). In addition to looking to this and perhaps other maritime analogs, it is tempting to suggest that, with an eye to the more distant future of large space settlements, we also examine major contemporary societies in which harmony and cooperation is stressed. The example of Japan, with its low crime rate and relative paucity of lawyers, comes to mind-although its utility as a model for international efforts may be limited in that Japan is such an ethnically homogeneous society (Krauss, Rohlen, and Steinhoff 1984; Vogel 1979).3
Once we have learned how to live together amicably in space and to work safely and efficiently there, once we have developed ways of avoiding the health problems of ionizing radiation, microgravity, and other hazards of nonterrestrial environments, and once we have learned how to grow food in space and to produce air, water, and other necessities there, then humankind can actually settle space, not just sojourn there. New cultures and new societies will then evolve as people seek to adapt to a variety of space environments.
This process of building new cultures and societies will undoubtedly contain many surprises. Yet, all the resultant sociocultural systems must provide the basic prerequisites for human existence if they are to be successful. Here is where the seeming disadvantage of the anthropologist's penchant for studying small communities may actually prove advantageous.
The sine qua non of anthropological experience is a long and intense period of field work in a small community, during which the investigator attempts to obtain a holistic understanding of the group (see fig. 6. Two photos of building a canoe and thatching a roof in Polynesia.). For example, I once spent a year living on a small island in the middle of the Pacific with only 200 inhabitants, during which time I learned the language, became well acquainted with every individual and his or her position in the community, and gathered data on everything from fishing and house building to marriage and religion. Because of this holistic experience of studying a small, relatively self-sufficient community and trying to figure out all its parts and how they fit together, I find most discussions of space settlement curiously incomplete. Typically, they go to great lengths to explain how habitats will be built on a planetary surface or in space, how food will be grown in these habitats, and how the community will earn its way by mining or manufacturing some valuable product; then they skip on to few details about domestic architecture, local government, and the like.
Among the crucial elements of human life omitted, or glossed over, in these futuristic projections is the most basic one for the survival of any society: reproduction. How mating, the control of birth, and then the rearing of children are to be arranged is seldom even mentioned in discussions of space settlement. 4
Of course, it could be argued that no great attention will be required in this area-that people will carry into space whatever reproductive practices are current in their earthside societies. But, would that mean a high percentage of single-parent households and low birth rates? A distinguished demographer, whom Eric Jones and I invited to a conference on space settlement, explained his lack of professional interest in the subject by saying that he really did not think there would be much population expansion into space. He argued that the nations most likely to establish space settlements are those which have passed through the demographic transition from high to low population growth and that, furthermore, the highly educated, technology-oriented people who would be the ones to colonize space are those inclined to have the fewest children, perhaps not even enough for replacement of the population.
A population's demographic past is not necessarily a reliable predictor of its future. however, as we should have learned after the surprise of the postWorld War 11 baby boom in the United States (Wachter 1985, pp. 122-123). It seems obvious that, when people perceive that it is to their advantage to have many children, they will do so. For example, Birdsell (1985) has documented how, in three separate cases of the colonization of virgin islands by small groups, the population doubled within a single generation. Figure 7. (A graph of Poulation growth on Pitcairn Island 1790-1856) (Birdsell 1957) graphs the population growth on Pitcairn Island from 1790 to 1856. Unless radiation hazards, low gravity, or some other aspect of the nonterrestrial environment constitutes an insuperable obstacle to our breeding in space, there is every reason for optimism about the possibility of population expansion in space.
Nonetheless, the export into space of some current features of mature industrial societies, such as the high cost of educating children,the desire of both parents to have full-time professional careers, and the lack of institutions to aid inchild rearing, would certainly act to slow expansion. Space settlers interested in expanding their populations should structure community values and services in such a way that people would want to have more than one or two children and would be able to afford to in terms of both time and money. An anthropological perspective could aid space settlers in constructing a socioeconomic environment for promoting population growth; first, by helpiing them to break out of the assumption that the way things are currently done in mature industrial societies represents the apex of human development; and, second, by informing them of the wide range of reproductive practices employed by the multitudesof human societies, past and present.
Some of the practices from our remote past might even be relevant to our future in space. Suppose, for example, that the harshness of the airless, radiation-intensive environments of space, combined with the economics of constructing safe human habitats, dictates that the first space settlements would have to be small, containing well under a hundred people (Oberg 1985, p. 183). Pioneering space colonies might therefore be in the size range of the hunting and gathering bands in which most of our ancestors lived before the discovery of agriculture and the consequent rise of urbanization. If so, space settlers might face some of the same problems relating to reproduction as did their distant predecessors: the genetic dangers of inbreeding, random imbalances in the sex ratio of children born into the group, and what might be called the "kibbutz effect," wherein children reared close together are not markedly attracted to one another upon coming of age (Spiro 1965, pp. 347-349). Our predecessors could avoid these problems with one simple institution: the practice of exogamy, whereby youths had to marry someone from outside their natal group, thus enlarging the effective breeding community to encompass hundreds of persons, not just a few dozen. Of course, it could be argued that sperm and egg banks, in vitro fertilization, and even in vitro gestation and genetic engineering may be so advanced by the era of space colonization that there would be no need for exogamy. Yet, marrying outside of one's group can bring benefits that may not be obtainable by other than social means.
Exogamy can promote social solidarity by binding together otherwise separate and scattered communities into a network of units which, in effect, exchange marriageable youths. Although the Australian aborigines, for example, lived scattered over their desert continent in small bands averaging 25 men, women, and children, they were linked together in tribes of some 500 people (Birdsell 1979). This larger tribal community was more than a breeding unit. At appointed times, the members of all the bands would gather together to arrange marriages, conduct rituals, and enjoy the fellowship of friends and relatives from other bands. Just as this tribal community provided the aborigines with a needed wider social group, so might a space age confederation of intermarrying space colonies help their pioneering inhabitants fight the loneliness of space (Jones and Finney 1983).
Of course, a space age exogamy system would probably not replicate all the features of its archaic predecessors. Take, for example, the custom of female bride exchange, whereby the marriageable young women were sent to other groups, which in turn supplied brides for the young men who remained at home. Space age young women would surely object, on the grounds of gender equality, to any rule that required that they leave home to marry, while their brothers could stay. Conversely, adventuresome young men might not relish the idea that they must remain at home and import their brides. More than likely, if the ethos of space communities is explicitly expansionistic, then both males and females will vie for the opportunity to leave their natal community and, taking a mate from another established community, go off to found a new colony.
Role of Anthropology
Assuming that someday it becomes widely accepted that anthropological insights and findings could help us understand human expansion into space and aid in that process, the question arises: How are those insights and findings to be applied and who applies them?
The suggestion that a corps of anthropologists be recruited to facilitate smooth cross-cultural relations in international space stations, to design appropriate institutions for permanent space communities, and to forecast the biocultural impact of moving into space might bring approval from my space-oriented colleagues and hope to many a new anthropology graduate trying to find a job in today's tight academic market. However, I would not advocate that anthropologists be elevated to the status of elite experts in planning human expansion into space. Anthropology is not an exact science in the sense that it can make accurate and precise predictions. Anthropological gurus of space expansion would hardly be infallible prophets or unerring social engineers. Instead, I foresee a more modest role for anthropologists as students of space expansion and advisors in that process.
The ideal recipients of that advice would not be some earthside planners charged with designing the social structure of space stations, lunar bases, and even more futuristic endeavors. Ultimately, the people who should receive the most appropriate advice on anthropological matters are those who will actually live and work in space. Call it selfdesign, home rule, or just plain independence, the underlying premise is the same: those who will actually reside in space stations, planetary outposts, and the first true space colonies should have a crucial role in the initial design of their particular community and, above all, in the inevitable modifications to that design which would arise through experience. In this light, the burden of space anthropologists -some of whom must do field work in space if they are to live up to their calling would be to come up with relevant insights, findings, and recommendations derived from both terrestrial societies and groups in space and to communicate these to the spacefarers and colonists.
Two centuries ago a group of gentlemen farmers, lawyers, and politicians, faced with the task of constructing a viable nation out of a disparate collection of ex-colonies, came up with a remarkable document, the Constitution of the United States, which set out a form of democratic government that has since proved most successful (see fig. 8. A portrait of the framers of the Constitution for a New Nation, Philadelphia 1787). This document, and the resultant form of government, was the product of a concerted design process based on a comparative study of forms of government instituted at different times and places through history, a study undertaken not by outside experts but by those who had to live in the resultant nation. I look forward to many such occurrences in space when the space settlers themselves not earthside planners or even a space-based planning elite-sit down, sift through the accumulated human experience, and come up with principles for the design of new societies adapted to their needs in space. Here is where the anthropological record from both Earth and space-and the principles derived therefrom could make a major contribution to the humanization of space.
If We Are Not Alone
While the solar system appears to be the sole province of humankind, we do not know whether we are alone in the galaxy. Should we have company and should we or our descendants make contact with extraterrestrial s, then anthropology might have a new role in space. The experience of anthropologists in trying to bridge cultural gulfs could be applied to the immense task of comprehending an extraterrestrial civilization.
Ten years ago a group of anthropologists and other social scientists published a book entitled Cultures Beyond Earth (Maruyama and Harkins 1975) exploring just such an "extraterrestrial anthropology." They assumed actual physical contact, via interstellar travel, between us and the extraterrestrials. To scientists engaged in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), however, the prospect of actually making physical contact is extremely remote. They argue that the physical problems and great cost of interstellar travel, as opposed to the relative ease and economy of radio communication, plus the great value that advanced civilizations would place on information, as opposed to physical experience, mean that contact will be made via the electromagnetic spectrum, not in person (Morrison, Billingham, and Wolfe 1977). Although the view that interstellar travel will never occur is arguable, a case can be made that, even if physical contact eventually takes place, speed-of-light radio communication would precede it (see fig. 9. A photo of the Radio Telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico). Hence, the question is "What role could anthropology play in cultural analysis at a distance?"
With extraterrestrial contact rephrased in terms of radio communication only, it might seem that anthropologists and their skills would have little or no role to play in this grand intellectual venture-at least in terms of the common SETI scenario. That scenario envisages the reception of a purposefully transmitted signal containing some mathematical truth, physical constant, or other noncultural knowledge that would presumably be universally shared among intelligent species scientifically advanced enough to engage in radio communication. The next step in this scenario would be to build upon this universal knowledge to develop a common logical code or language either through a patient and clever tutelage directed by the transmitting civilization or through a lengthy dialog across the gulf of however many light years might be involved (Freudenthal 1960). Signal processing experts, mathematicians, cognitive scientists, and linguists would seem the obvious specialists to participate in this radio contact process, not anthropologists.
However, it would be a mistake to assume that once a common code was shared, the rest of the task would be easy. Philip Morrison, whose joint paper with Giuseppe Cocconi (Cocconi and Morrison 1959) stimulated the SETI effort, wisely points out that a "complex signal will contain not mainly science and mathematics but mostly what we would call art and history" (Morrison 1973, p. 338). To decode such a signal would be difficult enough. To interpret the cultural material would call for an immense effort. Just think of the scholarship involved in deciphering the hieroglyphs and in reconstructing ancient Egyptian culture, even though the ancient Egyptians are of the same species as their modern investigators and in part culturally ancestral to them and even though they left the Rosetta Stone! (See figure 10.The Rosetta Stone.) Interpreting an extraterrestrial culture would be a never-ending task, which would generate a whole new scholarly industry, calling for the talents of specialists from all disciplines, especially anthropology. Anthropologists concerned about the disappearance of independent cultural entities on Earth should be among SETI's most ardent supporters. If the search is successful, anthropologists will have more than enough to do-for millennia to come.
Even if we are the only intelligent species in the galaxy, or at least our corner of it, we might not be alone for long. If our own technology for settling space really works and enables some of our descendants to disperse throughout the solar system, a dramatic cultural rediversification of humankind would occur as the widely scattered colonies develop (through cultural drift or conscious choice) new ways of living. Then, if adventurous citizens of the solar system one day migrate to other star systems, their separation into small, self-contained breeding communities light years from their neighbors would virtually ensure biological speciation (Finney and Jones 1985). Earth descended, though increasingly disparate, cultures and species would then be faced with the problem of understanding each other. Within such a galaxy of differentiating intelligent life forms, "astroanthropology" would be an essential tool for comprehending and relating to others beyond one's own cultural and biological experience.
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