Summary

On 6 April 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order outlining his country’s stance on the exploitation of natural resources in outer space. This is the latest in a series of steps pointing to a renewed interest in space exploration that directly involves both the public and the private sectors, with several companies making and attracting considerable investments in commercial space activities ranging from communications to mining. In view of these recent developments and plans for the years ahead, plus the interest demonstrated by other prominent powers in reaching the stars, it seems that we are heading to a new phase of international relations, one that has already been dubbed as ‘astropolitics.’ This raises two questions with far-reaching consequences: Are we at the dawn of space colonization? And: Will astropolitics be driven by a cooperative or a competitive dynamic?