The Expanse On The Dangers Of Space Colonization

The Expanse Has A Few Lessons For Humanity

The season finale of The Expanse was a thrilling culmination for a show that excels at delving into the dangers and complexities that humans may face as an interplanetary species.

Throughout its six-season run, The Expanse addresses crucial questions related to mankind’s colonization of space, including the potential for social injustice, inequality, and politics to be replicated on future space colonies. The series also examines the privatization of alien life as a resource and its potential weaponization by the military-industrial complex.

Additionally, The Expanse explores the colonization of various planets and the formation of interstellar colonies.

Social Injustice and Conflict in Space Colonies

The Expanse, based on the book series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (writing under the pen name James S. A. Corey), is set in the 23rd century after humanity has colonized Mars, the Moon, and established critical asteroid mining operations. The show explores the political conflicts that may arise if Mars decides to secede from Earth and how social oppression familiar on Earth may manifest on space colonies during conflicts involving Earth, Mars, and the Belters (those who work and live in the asteroid belt).

The Expanse presents a unique vision of space technology and exploration on space colonies, moving beyond the clichés often associated with the alien monster motif found in other space-themed franchises like Ridley Scott’s Alien series.

Private Control Over Alien Life, Resources, and Technologies

The Expanse also delves into questions surrounding control over alien life forms and resources, particularly in relation to their use as weapons. The distribution and management of critical resources such as water and raw materials also become significant issues in the series.

The absence of Earth laws in space prompts The Expanse to caution against the potential for class warfare on an interplanetary scale, highlighting the conflicts that may arise in the colonization of space.

Possible Solutions for the Future

While the endeavour to colonize space can be seen as a form of new space religion, The Expanse serves as a cautionary tale, urging us to consider the broader implications beyond the initial creation of space colonies. The series prompts us to imagine a future where the same issues of power, politics, and social injustice that plague Earth may resurface on space colonies if left unaddressed.

The Expanse effectively delivers its critique of a utopian vision of the human space project through its balanced use of plot, characters, science, and special effects. It serves as a reminder to resolve the pressing issues that currently confront us on Earth before inadvertently transporting them to future space colonies.

Planets Colonized in The Expanse and Interstellar Colonies

In The Expanse, several planets are colonized, expanding humanity’s reach beyond Earth. These include Mars, which has established itself as an independent military colony, as well as other celestial bodies like the Moon. The series explores the challenges and dynamics that arise from the colonization of these planets, depicting their varying degrees of development and the social, political, and economic implications of such expansion.

Furthermore, The Expanse introduces the concept of interstellar colonies, which extend humanity’s presence to systems beyond our solar system. These colonies represent a further frontier for exploration and human habitation, presenting new challenges and opportunities for the characters in the series.


The Expanse offers a gripping exploration of humanity’s conquest of space and the potential challenges that may arise in interplanetary colonization. Through its thought-provoking narrative, the show encourages us to confront the issues of power, politics, and social injustice that persist on Earth before they become deeply ingrained in future space colonies.

The Expanse’s portrayal of interstellar colonies and the colonization of planets like Mars and the Moon expands the scope of its storytelling and adds depth to its examination of humanity’s journey into the cosmos.

Ultimately, The Expanse serves as a reminder that our approach to resolving conflicts and promoting equality on Earth will shape our ability to confront the daunting challenges of space colonization.