David Colby Reed presents on "Hidden Features: Designing for Democratic Equality Among Future Spacefarers" to the Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Agency. Reed's talk asks the question: How might technology designs for space exploration and space economies shape relations between future spacefarers? This question takes on additional significance in an era in which private space companies assume larger or leading roles in steering the objectives of space exploration, resource extraction, and human settlement. In any long-running private enterprise in space, it will be likely that (public) governance regimes converge on (private) operational and strategic management regimes. The talk offers a framing of questions of technology design and social relations, and invites participants to extend these framings to their own work.
The Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) is part of the ESA's Directorate of Technical and Quality Management (TEC-SF). The team is essentially a channel for the study of technologies and ideas that are of strategical importance in the long term planning of ESA. It serves the function of a think tank providing decision makers the support of a highly multidisciplinary research group. Science and engineering research fellows (PhDs working at ESA for 2 years), Young Graduate Trainee and stagiaires form the bulk of this Team. Based at ESTEC, they carry out research work on advanced topics and emerging technologies and perform highly skilled analysis on a wide range of topics.