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SSS Opinion: What Bedouins Can Teach Us About Space Sustainability

Aug 24, 2020 |

This op-ed is published in a joint endeavor between the Strauss Center’s Space Security and Safety (SSS) program, SpaceWatch and TXSLAPS.

Sustainability has been practiced as a precondition for survival by many indigenous groups throughout the span of history. For those of us concerned with sustainability in space—or “the ability of all humanity to continue to use outer space for peaceful purposes and socioeconomic benefit over the long term”— this ought to be a heartening reality, as we can look to these practices to help avoid “reinventing the wheel.”

The recent launch of the UAE’s Hope Probe is a useful opportunity for a thought exercise. The UAE branded the Hope launch as an Arab undertaking, and an effort to inspire a new generation of Arabs to pursue space science. There is no better resource to turn to for Arab space sustainability efforts than the Bedouin people—the nomadic and semi-nomadic people who have historically inhabited desert regions throughout North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Levantine region.

For the rest of this op-ed by Alyssa Goessler, a Strauss Brumley Fellow, please read it here.

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