Nelly Bekus, Zhomart Medeuov

Aspirations and Challenges of Space Techno-Science in Global Semi-Peripheries. A View from Kazakhstan

  • Multidisciplinary

This article contributes to the emerging scholarship on space programmes developed by nations across global semi-peripheries, and it uncovers the major factors and challenges shaping the outer space agenda both domestically and internationally. Drawing on the case of Kazakhstan, the article discusses how the development of the space industry has been accompanied by the government’s efforts to indigenise space techno-science, while public discourses promote a vision of space services as playing a key role in addressing some of society’s major problems. The article reflects on new challenges faced by emergent space nations like Kazakhstan in the context of the ongoing commercialisation of space services, which undermines the economic viability of investment in the national space infrastructure, such as satellites. The analysis of ongoing challenges and policy dilemmas reveals that space techno-science in the context of emerging space nations can be seen as an instrument serving to consolidate state sovereignty, as well as the ground where this sovereignty has been put to the test.

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