Orbital Life on the International Space Station

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest object in the earth’s orbit and currently the only environment that harbors human life outside the planet. This habitable satellite operates as a sophisticated scientific laboratory and is a complex and costly technological endeavor in expanding our extraplanetary presence. The ISS constitutes a unique living space—a sociotechnical arrangement that encloses humans and nonhumans in a highly regulated and experimental setting that anticipates the orbital order of terrestrial ways of life. This article draws upon Michel Foucault’s work on power and space to frame the ISS as a form of “heterotopia” and explore it as a site in which technologically inflected inscriptions of the human incubate distinct material and social relations. It suggests that these orbital effects configure the practices underpinning the strategic spatialization of life and its governance beyond the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalSpace and Culture: the journal
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019

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way of life
harbor
Social Relations
governance
planet
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Orbital
Space station
Social relations
Globe
Governance
effect
laboratory
material
Heterotopia
Planet
Harbors
Spatialization
Human Life
Way of Life

Cite this

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title = "Orbital Life on the International Space Station",
abstract = "The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest object in the earth’s orbit and currently the only environment that harbors human life outside the planet. This habitable satellite operates as a sophisticated scientific laboratory and is a complex and costly technological endeavor in expanding our extraplanetary presence. The ISS constitutes a unique living space—a sociotechnical arrangement that encloses humans and nonhumans in a highly regulated and experimental setting that anticipates the orbital order of terrestrial ways of life. This article draws upon Michel Foucault’s work on power and space to frame the ISS as a form of “heterotopia” and explore it as a site in which technologically inflected inscriptions of the human incubate distinct material and social relations. It suggests that these orbital effects configure the practices underpinning the strategic spatialization of life and its governance beyond the globe.",
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Orbital Life on the International Space Station. / Damjanov, Katarina; Crouch, David.

In: Space and Culture: the journal, Vol. 22, No. 1, 09.01.2019, p. 77-89.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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