Das All als Zukunfts(t)raum der Menschheit

12 June 2023 | 18:00 - 19:30 | Hörsaal VII, Main Building of the University of Bonn

"Der Weltraum - unendliche Weiten" or "Space - The Final Frontier" is the title of the English or German intro of the probably most famous science fiction series, which contributed to the enthusiasm for space in the first Space Age. Space as practically unlimited space, or space as a cultural dream - both formulations tie science and fiction together and show the double meaning for mankind - starting with the abstract meaning of space, proven by cultural artifacts like the 3600 year old sky disk of Nebra, up to the first steps of modern science in the 15th and 16th century, embodied in the science of space. and 16th centuries, epitomized by Galileo's telescope in 1608. Science/science and imagination/fiction provided dreams of using outer space as astronomy and science fiction, but it was not until the space travel of the 1950s and 1960s, which literally catapulted humanity into outer space, that outer space finally became a real space of human activity.

Today, in the not-so-young 21st century, after years of a somewhat routine use of space, trends like New Space, driven by billionaires like Elon Musk and his vision of making humanity a multiplanetary species, promise a whole new dimension of space travel. One that must seem extraordinarily unreal, even utopian, to humanity, with factories in space, massive space bases, regular space flights to solar celestial bodies, mining of asteroids and moons, tourist excursions, and massive solar farms beaming solar energy to Earth.

In this lecture, we will illuminate space both as a dream and as space. Therefore, the lecture is dedicated to the question of what an opening up of space could mean both culturally-philosophically, as well as - quite tangibly - economically and politically. We will take a look at the evolution of technology and see whether we as humanity are ready to confidently penetrate into space, and thus, as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky said, to leave the earth, our crib, and to advance into infinite expanses, to the final frontier.




Opening Remarks:

Dr. Enrico Fels

Geschäftsführer des Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, Universität Bonn


Arne Sönnichsen

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Universität Duisburg-Essen & Koordinator des Forschungsnetzwerkes SichTRaum


Iris Müller

Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit

In close cooperation with:

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