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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

As technologies help us to push further and further into outer space, new ethical issues emerge, as is typical for new frontiers. This chapter will survey issues ranging from the practical to the theoretical, such as bioethics for astronauts, including issues of sex and reproduction and whether we should initially send humans at all (instead of robots); commercial activities in space, including tourism and property rights; terraforming, colonization, and space settlements, including environmental considerations; planetary protection/quarantine and other safety and risk issues; dual-use technologies that could further militarize space; and more. This chapter will argue that, in addition to novel ethical issues arising from this new technological frontier, old ethical discussions generated by technology (e.g., abortion, genetic enhancement) will need revisiting once we escape terrestrial assumptions and context.

Keywords: space ethics, moral status, property rights, Doomsday argument, ethics of risk, existential risk, dual-use, space war, first generation problem, space bioethics

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