A familiar scenario? Back in 1975 TV was graced with a new scifi show, Space 1999, and its story line went something like this….
The premise of Space: 1999 centers on the plight of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, a scientific research center on the Moon. Humanity had been storing its nuclear waste in vast disposal sites on the far side of the Moon, but when an unknown form of magnetic radiation is detected, the accumulated waste reaches critical mass and causes a massive thermonuclear explosion on 13 September 1999. The force of the blast propels the Moon like an enormous booster rocket, hurling it out of Earth orbit and into deep space at colossal speed, thus stranding the 311 personnel stationed on Alpha
I know what does this have to do with this particular post?
You guys know me I like to give some background before I leap into the post……and there you have it.
There seems to be a problem with nuclear waste here on planet Earth…..and the Moon looks like a good place to store the excess…..as soon as we set up our station…..our Lunar Base…….
Not content to desecrate our terrestrial landscape with hundreds of thousands of tons of nuclear waste — much piled up with nowhere to go, the rest released to contaminate our air, water and soil — humankind, in all its folly, now plans to do the same to the Moon. And, eventually to Mars.
NASA, the US Department of Energy and assorted nuclear labs are pushing the small modular reactor for nuclear projects on the Moon and Mars. Desperate to stay relevant and to continue gobbling up taxpayer dollars, this is music to the failing nuclear industry’s ears. Financially disastrous and technically unresolved on Earth, the SMR, say these “experts”, is ideally suited to the needs of humans living for extensive periods in space.
Needless to say, so far there is no certified design, no test reactor, no actual reactor, and no fool-proof way to send such a reactor to the Moon. (Rockets have an unfortunate habit of sometimes blowing up on — or shortly after — launch.) Nevertheless, the year 2026 is the ambitious target date for all systems go. In keeping with the theme, “pie in the sky” springs to mind.
Can you see why this story made me think of a TV show?
I have been asked why I find the Space stuff so compelling…..easy answer….we have fucked up this planet and we are making plans to do the same to others in our spacial neighborhood.
For those interested…..I believe that this story violates Article IV of the Outer Space Treaty…
States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.
The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited
Granted the Article is talking about nuke weapons….but I suggest that waste is a weapon and weaponized fairly easy and quickly.
Commercializing space will do more damage than good (my opinion)…..greed will replace scientific curiosity….and look where greed has brought this world to and do we truly want it happening again? And again?
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“lego ergo scribo”