Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity by Daniel Deudney (2020)
An overview of both past and present arguments and visions for space expansionism and mega-projects, exploring their feasibility and implications. Deudney expresses reservations about future space expansionism and argues that space colonization would increase the longterm risk to humanity. The book offers a comprehensive summary of space expansionism and its potential from the negative perspective.
The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility by Robert Zubrin (2019)
Zubrin discusses the advancements of private sector entrepreneurs in the new space race and foreseeable achievements based on our recent breakthroughs, such as the reuseable rocket. He argues that such advancements will benefit humanity’s prospects for survival through access to new frontiers and resources.
The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality and Our Destiny Beyond Earth by Michio Kaku (2018)
Kaku, a physicist, explores the realistic potential of science and technology to explain how human civilization could expand to our solar system and beyond. He also explores related ideas of technological advancement, such as transhumanism and immortality. Kaku writes in favor of space expansionism based on the assumption that it is a necessity to avoid future catastrophic events on earth.
Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon by James Benford and Gregory Benford (2013)
Describes the technology and visions for reaching another star within the next century
Extra-Terrestrial Liberty an Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of Tyrannical Government Beyond the Earth by Charles Cockell (2013)
Cockell explores the considerations of freedom in space settlement, balancing the escape from Earth with the reliance on complicated robotics and machinery for survival
Robots in Space: Technology, Evolution, and Interplanetary Travel by Roger Launius and Howard McCurdy (2008)
Explores the required technological advancements for humans to traverse to other stars and galaxies, including becoming entwined with advanced robots
Space Is Open for Business: The Industry That Can Transform Humanity by Robert Jacobson (2020)
Provides an overview of the NewSpace industry and a framework for getting involved in commercial space
The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport (2018)
Tells the story of how several entrepreneurs and billionaires came to the forefront of space exploration
Military and Policy
Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance between Astrophyics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang (2018)
Analyzes the historical relationship between advances in astrophysics being used for military purposes from “early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare”
A collection of books published by Springer to explore astronomy and the space sciences from several perspectives across the liberal arts. The series includes many books about current trends in space and related policy and law, though some of the books exceed this scope.
Encountering Life in the Universe by Chris Impey, Anna H. Spitz, and William Stoeger (2013)
Explores the intersection of philosophy and ethics with astrobiology, describing how we might behave as we settle new worlds or encounter extraterrestrial civilizations.
Contact with Alien Civilizations by Michael A. G. Michaud (2007)
Discusses the implications of a contact scenario with extraterrestrial intelligence.
Space governance by Fin Moorhouse (2022) - An 80,000 Hours problem profile which outlines the concerns in space exploration and governance, weighs the arguments for whether space governance is a pressing problem, and proposes effective ways to get involved
Space governance is important, tractable and neglected by Tobias Baumann (2020) - A blog post describing why space governance should be a cause area for Effective Altruists and ideal space governance scenarios
Will we eventually be able to colonize other stars? Notes from a preliminary review by Nick Beckstead (2018) - Analyzes the feasibility of colonizing other stars in light of the potential obstacles given emerging technology and possibilities for future technological advancements
What on Earth is happening to space law? by Lorenzo Gradoni (2018) - A blog post outlining the history and recent developments in space law, including international law and recent national laws which have made decisions about property rights and research ownership in outer space
Risk of Astronomical Future Suffering by Brian Tomasik (2013) - An analysis on the impact of intergalactic spreading of human civilization on the suffering of future generations
Robert Zubrin, Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization (1999)
John Lewis, Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets (1997)
Robert Zubrin, The Case for Mars (1996)
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994)
Frank White, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution (1987)
James Oberg, New Earths: Restructuring Earth and Other Planets (1983)
Gerard O’Neill, The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space (1976)
Dandridge Cole, Beyond Tomorrow: The Next Fifty Years in Space (1965)
Space Forward - Aims to break down human expansion into space to actionable steps and first principles.
Settle the Stars - Explores the science of space exploration, including settlement and terraforming.
StarTalk Radio - Although not solely focused on space exploration and settlement, StarTalk Radio, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is one of the most popular science podcasts, and it frequently explores topics relevant to space governance.
Private Eyes in the Sky: Emerging Technology and the Political Consequences of Eroding Government Secrecy (Greenberg and Milonopoulos, 2020)
Breakthrough Starshot has compiled research on the feasibility on interstellar travel, particularly through the use of light-driven nanocrafts
Space races: settling the universe fast (Sandberg, 2018)
A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight (Lubin, 2016)
Limits and Signatures of Relativistic Spaceflight (Yurtsever and Wilkinson, 2015)
Homogeneous cosmology with aggressively expanding civilizations (Olson, 2014)
The Wait Calculation: The Broader Consequences of the Minimum Time from Now to Interstellar Destinations and its Significance to the Space Economy (Kennedy, 2013)
Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework for the Governance of Space Resource Activities: A Commentary by Olavo de O. Bittencourt Neto, Mahulena Hofmann, Tanja Masson-Zwaan, and Dimitra Stefoudi (2020) - Discusses future governance frameworks for the use of space resources as discussed by The Hague International Space Resources Governance Group
Space arms control: Lex lata and currently active proposals by Jinyuan SU (2017) - Analyzes new international space law proposals in light of growing military space programs, analyzing challenges to verification and agreement.
Space mining and its regulation by Ram S. Jakhu, Joseph N. Pelton, and Yaw Otu Mankata Nyampong (2017) - Analyzes international and legal aspects of space mining and existing space natural resource projects.
Handbook of Space Law by Frans Von Der Dunk and Fabio Tronchetti (2015) - A comprehensive legal textbook on the current state of international space law.
Handbook of Space Security by Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Peter Hays, Jana Robinson, Denis Moura, and Christina Giannopapa (2014) - A complex legal overview of international space law considering the political and technical aspects of outer space.
Space Law: A Treatise by Francis Lyall and Paul Larsen (2007) - Examines public law regulating current space technology and makes suggestions for reforms to space law with the growth of the commercial space industry.
Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy by Glenn Reynolds and Robert Merges (1997) - Looks at the legal and political environment of space exploration in light of the end of the Cold War and beginning of the commercial space industry.