Lunar Landers and Space Elk:
The Imaginary as Spaceflight Infrastructure
Peer-reviewed article for Roadsides e-journal Collection 003: Infrastructure on/off Earth, edited by Dr. Christine Bichsel.
Roadsides is a collectively managed Open Access e-journal designed to be a forum devoted to exploring the social life of infrastructure.
Read the the article here and entire Collection 003 here.
“Blue Origin has become a major firm in the spaceflight industry and, as primary sponsor to the congress, its ascendancy and ambition were on display in Washington. At the top of the steps on the way to the congress expo, Blue Moon stood proudly – full scale model of the company’s first lunar lander prototype. However, a return the Moon is but one step in a much grander mission. Bezos envisions himself an Blue Origin as the pioneers of a “multi-generational vision,” where his generation is building the “road to space” for the future benefit of humankind and the Earth. This is a future of millions of people living and working in space, with “thousands of future entrepreneurs building a real space industry.” The Blue Moon lander and the road to space form different “material instantiations” that reveal the influential mechanisms of imagining futures at different scales. By analysing the material and representational space productions of Blue Origin in Washington, this essay explores the idea of the imaginary as infrastructure – an infrastructure that bridges the gap between futures near and far, and between real and ideal outer space.”