Space advocacy is supporting or advocating for a human use of outer space. Purposes advocated can reach from space exploration, or commercial use of space to even space settlement. There are many different individuals and organizations dedicated to space advocacy. They are usually active in educating the public[1] on space related subjects, lobbying governments[2][3] for increased funding in space-related activities or supporting private space activities. They also recruit members, fund projects, and provide information for their membership and interested visitors. They are sub-divided into three categories depending on their primary work: practice, advocacy, and theory.


The idea that space flight was possible and necessary was introduced by groups of thinkers, primarily members of the Russian,[4] American, British, and German[5][6] science communities, who formed in the 1920s the first advocacy groups.[7] Starting in the 1930s, these groups began to share their individual plans for a future in space to their respective governments and the public.[8]

Influential books and other media began to emerge which included works containing illustrations by Chesley Bonestell (based on Wernher von Braun's designs) such as The Conquest of Space (1949) and magazine articles including the "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!" series of article in Colliers magazine between 1952 and 1954. Television shows included Walt Disney's "Man in Space" and "Man and the Moon" in 1955, and "Mars and Beyond" in 1957.

Space movement

According to Mark Hopkins from the National Space Society, each space organization has a different priority and short-term objective, but all organizations share the ultimate goal of building space settlements.[9] In 2004 most of the leading US non-profit space organizations joined together to form the Space Exploration Alliance. The Alliance was formed to "advocate for the exploration and development of outer space" to members of Congress. The Alliance organizes the annual Legislative Blitz to lobby members of Congress for space exploration, and every space enthusiast is encouraged to participate in the Legislative Blitz by calling, emailing, or personally visiting their Congressperson's office.[10]

Decolonizing space

See also: Space ethics, Decolonization of knowledge, Women in space, Ethics of terraforming, Surfacism, Planetary chauvinism, and Human presence in space

To reach a more inclusive spaceflight and space science some organizations like the Justspace Alliance[11] (see Lucianne Walkowicz) and IAU featured Inclusive Astronomy[12] have been formed in recent years. Holding events like the unconference Decolonizing Mars in 2018.[13]

Advocates of this issue see the need for inclusive[14] and democratic participation and implementation of any space exploration, infrastructure or habitation.[15] Questioning the decision making of and reasons for any colonial space policy, labour[16] and land exploitation with postcolonial critique.

Private[17] and state funded advocacy for space colonization, specifically the rationales and politico-legal regimes[18] behind space exploration, like the "New Frontier" slogan, have been criticized for applying settler colonialism and the manifest destiny ideology, perpetuating imperialism and the narrative of colonial exploration as fundamental to the assumed human nature.[19][20][21]

Participation and representation of humanity in space is an issue of human access to and presence in space ever since the beginning of spaceflight.[11] Even though some rights of non-spacefaring countries to partake in spaceflight have been secured through international space law, declaring space the "province of all mankind", understanding spaceflight as its resource, sharing of outer space for all humanity has been criticized as still imperialist and lacking.[11] For example arguments for space as a solution to global problems like pollution and related narratives of survival are considered imperialist by Joon Yun.[17] Having a considerate policy towards space is seen as an imperative to allow a thoroughly sustainable human society also on Earth.[22]

Space ethics altogether has been around for decades,[23] with contemporary representatives of the field, such as Tony Milligan,[24] seeing an increasing need to more firmly establish it, particularly considering the urgent issue of space environmental protection.[25]

List of organizations

Actively involved

Organizations that are directly involved in space exploration, having their own active projects.

Organisation Founded Purpose and goals Pursuits Website
SETI Institute 1984, United States to search for extraterrestrial intelligent life Runs SETI Official website
The Planetary Society 1980, United States to explore the Solar System, search for near-Earth objects, and search for extraterrestrial life Launched Cosmos 1 Official website
Artemis Project was a private venture to establish a permanent, self-supporting base on the Moon by 2002 Official website
Space Studies Institute 1977, United States (2012:) to organize and implement The Great Enterprise Initiative, a road map outlining the technologies and capabilities necessary for space settlement. Current projects include "G-Lab, a space-based variable or partial gravity laboratory [and] E-Lab, a terrestrial 'systems-of-systems' integration lab that will bring together promising closed environment life support technologies into a comprehensive life support solution for space settlement."[26] Runs Space Manufacturing conferences Official website
British Interplanetary Society 1933, United Kingdom to inspire people about space so that humanity builds a future beyond the Earth. It is devoted to initiating, promoting and disseminating new concepts and technical information about space flight and astronautics. It has been running technical studies since the 1930s.

It is an international membership society and a UK-registered charity.

1930s moon mission, 1970s interstellar probe Daedalus Official website


Organizations that focus mainly on lobbying government agencies and businesses to step up their efforts.

Organisation Founded Purpose and goals Website
Air & Space Forces Association 1946, United States Promotes dominant U.S. Air & Space Forces Official website
American Astronautical Society 1954, United States dedicated to the advancement of space science and exploration Official website
National Space Institute 1974–1987, United States to help maintain public support for the US space program (later became the National Space Society)
L5 Society 1975–1987, United States to promote the space colony ideas of Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill (later became the National Space Society)
Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy 1980, United States was a group of prominent American citizens concerned with US space policy
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space 1980, United States to promote space exploration and development through educational and engineering projects Official website
Space Force Association 2019, United States Achieve superior national space power by shaping a Space Force that provides credible deterrence in competition, dominant capability in combat, and professional services for all partners. Official website
Space Frontier Foundation 1988, United States to promote large-scale settlement of the inner Solar System, under strong free market capitalism Official website
Mars Society 1998, International to encouraging the exploration and settlement of Mars Official website
Moon Society 2000, International to encouraging the exploration, economic development, and settlement of the Moon Official website
California Space Authority 2001, United States "to foster the development of specified activities in California related to space flight." Official website
Space Exploration Alliance 2004, United States An alliance of major non-profit space organizations. Official website
Coalition for Deep Space Exploration United States "aerospace industry companies that are collaborating to advance the cause of space exploration." Official website
Penny4NASA 2012, United States to advocate for the increase of the NASA budget to 1% of the federal budget, or one penny of every tax dollar Official website
SpacePAC 2014, United States Political action committee committed to electing pro-space candidates to office. Official website
Alliance for Space Development 2015, United States An alliance of major non-profit space organizations. Official website
Space for all 2020, Netherlands Advocating for the introduction of an 18th Sustainable Drbelopment Goal focused on outer space. Official website

Educating and publicizing

Organisations involved in educating the public, to boost their understanding and enthusiasm about space.

Organisation Founded Purpose and goals Website
Canadian Space Society 1983, Canada to sponsor, promote and engage in activities designed to promote increased knowledge of space Official website
National Space Society 1987, United States an organization with the vision of "people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth," from the merger of L5 Society and National Space Institute Official website
International Space University 1987, France a university dedicated to the discovery, research and development of outer space exploration for peaceful purposes Official website
TMRO 2008, United States a multimedia, internet based broadcaster dedicated to getting"...the planet excited about living among the stars." Official website
Space Foundation 1983, United States to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity. Official website
Tau Zero Foundation 2004, United States to work together toward practical interstellar flight and to use this quest to teach about science, technology, and our place in the universe Official website
Initiative for Interstellar Studies 2012, United Kingdom Conducts activities and research relating to the challenges of achieving robotic and human interstellar flight. Official website
Space for Humanity 2018, United States An education-oriented non-profit organization expanding access to space, training the leaders of tomorrow, and cultivating a movement towards a more harmonious world. Official website
Space Studies Institute 1977, United States "open the energy and material resources of space for human benefit within our lifetime" Official website
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) 1980, United States Worldwide student space advocacy. Official website
The Space Court Foundation United States a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit corporation that promotes and supports space law and policy education and the rule of law. Official website
The Secure World Foundation United States promotes cooperative solutions for space sustainability and the peaceful uses of outer space, for the benefit of all countries. Official website


Organisations that focus on advocating theoretical work.

Organisation Founded Purpose and goals Website
Alliance to Rescue Civilization devoted to the establishment of an off-Earth "backup" of human civilization Official website
Living Universe Foundation has a detailed plan in which the entire galaxy is colonized. Official website
The Mars Foundation through its Mars Homestead Project, is developing a unified plan for building the first habitat on Mars by exploiting local materials. Official website
Build the Enterprise theorises the possibility of building a spaceship similar in appearance to the USS Enterprise from Star Trek using current technology within the next two decades. Official website

See also


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  17. ^ a b Joon Yun (January 2, 2020). "The Problem With Today's Ideas About Space Exploration". Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  18. ^ Alan Marshall (February 1995). "Development and imperialism in space". Space Policy. 11 (1): 41–52. doi:10.1016/0265-9646(95)93233-B. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  19. ^ Caroline Haskins (14 August 2018). "The racist language of space exploration". The Outline. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
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