Int. Academy of Astronautics Home European Space Agency

Apollo FootprintWelcome to the website of "The Impact of Space Activities upon Society"

As the 21st century gets underway, the impact of space activities upon the welfare of humanity will only increase.

It has been acknowledged that one of the most significant events of the 20th century was when humanity left its ancestral home and stepped on the surface of another planet. One can imagine that during the 21st century the human expansion and insight into the immediate cosmos will produce some of the more significant events of this new century.

The period between 1957 and 1991 saw the dawn of the space age with flights to the planets, footprints on the moon, and global communications; however, this history of space was anchored in the global cold war with its massive budgets for military space exploitation.

The last ten years have brought about a new era of space exploration, images of the stars and galaxies, international cooperation and a focus on our own planet. In the not-too-distant future we may see unlimited, clean, solar energy from space powering our industries as well as heating and lighting our homes, tourism in Earth orbit or on the Moon, extra-terrestrial mining and even the development of a multi-planet economy.

In addition to the enormous knowledge that space exploration has already delivered, space technologies have become integrated into everyday day life so deeply that modern society could not function without them. Weather, telecommunications, environmental analyses and national security are only the most obvious space technologies that humanity relies on.

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) has embarked upon a project to document the "impact" of space upon societies and communities around the world as seen from the unique position of their leaders. These leaders are being asked to complete the statement:

"I believe that space activities are impacting society through......"

Their replies have been reviewed and published on this website and in a book entitled The Impact of Space Activities upon Society which has been jointly published in March 2005 with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The book may be downloaded as a PDF file.
Impact of Space Activities on Society - PDF

Or it may be ordered directly form the ESA Website.
ESA Publications Bookshop.

See also this notice on the ESA website.
ESA Publications Notice

Impact of Space Activities upon Society Study Group
International Academy of Astronautics

spacer  spacer spacer