Space Settlement and Transformative Experience

Transformative experiences provide opportunities for permanent epistemic change by enabling the critical examination of existing felt preferences and formation of new considered preferences.

Experiences of spaceflight have historically instigated transformative experiences known as the “overview effect,” while recent developments in private spaceflight are increasing the availability of low-Earth orbit overview experiences.

Public and private ambitions for Mars settlement offer even more unique opportunities for personal and civilizational transformation. Predicting the outcome of transformative experiences is difficult, but empirical examples provide some basis for understanding how such experiences of spaceflight could drive epistemic change on Earth.