Space Law

I have been amiss in my writing on foreign policy and international situations…..politics has taken over as a major concern for me…..then there is the damn silly proposal for a Space Force.

What about “Space Law”?

A new SciFi Channel series?

NO!

I have been one of the few bloggers that have been watching the new proposal by Trump to expand our military branches by one….a Space Force or Corps or whatever the name they choose…..who know maybe “Starship Troopers” will become popular.

I am opposed because of the massive amount of funds it will take from concept to reality……then there is the thing called “Space Law”…..yep there is a set of legal positions when it comes to space…..who knew? Well I did.

Then I read an article about the idea of space mining…..again another subject that I have posted several posts about….

https://lobotero.com/2012/04/29/the-new-world-of-mining/

https://lobotero.com/2013/02/02/mining-a-new-frontier/

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/22/miners-not-minors/

It seems that Russia is interested in asteroid mining……

Space mining has been the realm of science fiction, but a handful of firms and governments are pursuing the idea of making it a reality. The small Duchy of Luxembourg became the first country to adopt legal regulations relating to mining in space, including from asteroids.

“In January we offered Luxembourg a framework agreement on cooperation in the use of (mining) exploration in space. We expect an answer from Luxembourg,” said Golikova, part of a Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-luxembourg-russia-space/russia-wants-to-join-luxembourg-in-space-mining-idUKKCN1QN1OQ

 

All this got me to thinking……is there legal aspects to all this outer space stuff? 

What happened to that UN Space Law from the 1960s?

The onset of domestic space programs during the Cold War propelled the official creation of international space policy (i.e. the International Geophysical Year) initiated by the International Council of Scientific Unions. The Soviet Union‘s 1957 launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, directly spurred the United States Congress to pass the Space Act, thus creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[3][6] Because space exploration required crossing transnational boundaries, it was during this era where space law became a field independent from traditional aerospace law. Since the Cold War, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the “Outer Space Treaty”) and the International Telecommunications Union have served as the foundational legal framework and set of principles and procedures constituting space law.  Further, the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, along with its The Office for Outer Space Affairs subcommittee, aid in governing international space law and policy.  Challenges that space law will continue to face in the future are fourfold—spanning across dimensions of domestic compliance, international cooperation, ethics, and the advent of scientific innovations. Furthermore, specific guidelines on the definition of airspace have yet to be universally determined.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_law

Is it possible that a Space Force would be in violation of treaties already in place?

  • the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
  • outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
  • outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
  • States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
  • the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
  • astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
  • States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
  • States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
  • States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

The proposal of a US Space Force could break a couple of these long standing laws……time for the UN to step in and talk with all the countries involved in the rush to space….again.

Some of my friends say that I have too much time on my retired hands…..to that I say….”Brain worms gotta feed”!

Now aren’t you sorry you asked?

Peace Out My Friends!

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Martian Chronicles

Not the mini-series or the book by Bradbury….my “Chronicles” are about the findings on the “Angry Red Planet” (a B movie from the 50s)…..

There have many that believe that Mars had an atmosphere way before the Earth…

Asteroid impacts may have helped make Mars a more life-friendly place — and not just by delivering water and the carbon-based building blocks of life as we know it to the Red Planet.

Incoming space rocks may also have helped seed Mars with biologically usable forms of nitrogen long ago, if the planet’s atmosphere were rich in hydrogen (H2) back then, a new study reports.

In 2015, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity discovered nitrate (NO3) in the rocks of Gale Crater, the 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) hole in the ground the six-wheeled robot has been exploring since 2012. Nitrate is a “fixed” form of nitrogen; life-forms, at least as we know them on Earth, can nab NO3’s nitrogen and incorporate it into biomolecules like amino acids. That’s in contrast with “unfixed” gaseous nitrogen (N2), which features two tightly bonded, inert and relatively inaccessible nitrogen atoms. (This inaccessibility helps explain why farmers fertilize their fields, even though Earth’s air is nearly 80 percent N2.)

https://www.space.com/asteroid-strikes-life-on-mars.html

Even to the point of having huge flowing rivers……

Huge rivers seem to have been flowing across Mars relatively recently, scientists said.

The flowing water came in rivers much bigger and more powerful than those seen on Earth, they said. And they seem to have stuck around far longer than we had realised.

The raging water courses carved deep channels into the Martian surface at “hundreds of locations”, said scientists.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/mars-water-rivers-alien-proof-life-red-planet-a8842771.html

Actually that water may still be there just a lot deeper than we thought…..

Researchers at the University of Southern California dropped a bold claim Thursday: based on a new analysis, Mars likely harbors a “deep groundwater” system that probably extends far beyond the planet’s poles and bubbles to the surface through cracks in craters.

“We have seen the same mechanisms in the North African Sahara and in the Arabian Peninsula, and it helped us explore the same mechanism on Mars,” researcher Abotalib Abotalib said in a press release.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/deep-martian-groundwater

Did Mars and Venus have a atmosphere that could be said to be “livable”…..

If you could travel back in time to the early stages of the Solar System, some 4.5 billion years ago, you wouldn’t find one life-friendly world, but three. Venus, Earth, and Mars all looked very similar from a planetary perspective, as they all had substantial surface gravity and atmospheres similar to Earth’s in thickness. There were volcanoes, watery oceans, and complex interactions that enabled these worlds to retain the heat they absorbed from the Sun.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/03/27/what-was-it-like-when-venus-and-mars-became-uninhabitable-planets/amp/

The Rovers carry out scientific experiments and readings…..and one of the readings was seismic activity……

Since NASA’s InSight lander touched down on Mars at the end of last year, the plucky little surface probe has spent months getting carefully situated so that its special seismometer could carefully listen for “marsquakes” — a neologism for earthquakes that occur on Mars, rather than Earth, as you probably guessed. Observations of marsquakes will help determine just what’s going on inside Mars, and to what extent it is still a geologically active world. We know Mars was very geologically active in the past; notably, it has the tallest mountain of any planet in the solar system.

While InSight hasn’t heard earth-shaking marsquakes yet, a Science Magazine interview with Philippe Lognonné, a planetary seismologist at Paris Diderot University who manages the team that runs the seismometer, revealed that the lander’s instrument has detected a different kind of rumbling known as microseisms. They are the first of their kind to be detected on another planet.

https://www.salon.com/2019/03/24/tremors-on-mars-detected-for-first-time-but-theyre-not-caused-by-geologic-activity/

Life is where you find it……does that include Mars?

The NASA Mars Rover Curiosity has been going around the Red Planet in search of new areas for drilling after encountering some technical problems early this month. During one of its excursions, it was able to take a snapshot of some really nice pebbles with some odd yet interesting details.

In a photo released on the NASA website, one can see what looks like normal pebbles from a stream bed. But upon closer inspection and with some enhancement from Kevin M. Gill, a NASA software engineer who does processing of space images, a picture of perfectly round gray pebbles can also be seen.

 

According to CNET, the pebbles, which are now being studied by the space agency’s rover team, look very similar to rocks found in another area of the planet. These rocks were discovered by the now-deceased NASA rover Opportunity and were labeled as “blueberries.”

https://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-mars-rover-curiosity-detects-odd-pebbles-red-planet-hints-alien-life-2779542

Mushrooms in the Martian story?

From NASA’s rovers and landers to David Bowie, one question about the Red Planet remains sadly unanswered. Is there life on Mars? Now a controversial review paper has claimed that the answer is a resounding yes. And it’s definitely going to start a big debate.

The paper includes images taken by Curiosity and Opportunity of what the researchers are calling fungi, lichens, and algae growing on Mars. So, are there really mushrooms growing on Mars, like some are reporting?

The paper, titled Evidence of Life on Mars? is published in the first edition of a brand new journal, the Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews, and looks at almost 200 peer-reviewed studies debating curious structures, seasonal changes in methane, and the possibility that life has traveled between planets. The journal itself calls the evidence controversial and had six independent scientists and eight senior editors peer review it, three of which rejected it. 

https://www.iflscience.com/space/mushrooms-on-mars-controversial-paper-claims-evidence-fungi-and-microbes-live-on-mars-today/

In The 50s a bad SciFi movie, The Angry Red Planet” had this big spider-like creature tormenting the astronauts…..but in real life the Martian spider is “Blue”…..

David Bowie sang about his sci-fi persona Ziggy Stardust performing with the Spiders from Mars, and now it turns out there’s a “spider” on Mars after all.

An image captured by a European Space Agency (ESA) orbiter recently showed what appears to be a very hairy, blue spider extending its “legs” across the Martian landscape.

But in reality, the so-called spider is a sprawling pattern left behind on a ridge by a frenzy of dust devils, when hundreds or even thousands of whirling tornadoes formed in the area, ESA representatives said yesterday (March 14) in a statement

The “Chronicles” continue and the news is made and man waits for his chance to step onto the “Angry Red Planet”…….

Shades Of S.D.I. (Star Wars)

I read something the other day that made me think of the old Reagan Star Wars plan (the S.D.I.)…….but what was it?

In case you are too young to remember the plan……


Now that I have explained what I was thinking….how about the article that promoted all this contemplation….

India on Wednesday destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test that puts the country in the space “super league”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

He said India would be the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite missile after the United States, Russia and China.

“A while ago, our scientists shot down a live satellite at a low-earth orbit. I congratulate all scientists who have made this possible and made India a much stronger nation,” Modi said in a rare televised address to the nation weeks before the national elections scheduled to be held in April and May.

“This is a big moment for India. Something that all of us should be proud of. We are not just capable to defend on land, water and air, but now also in space,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV website.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/india-shoots-satellite-joining-space-super-league-modi-190327071419578.html

There is history behind these attempts….

The United States performed the first anti-satellite tests in 1959, when satellites themselves were rare and new.

Bold Orion, designed as a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile re-purposed to attack satellites, was launched from a bomber and passed close enough to the Explorer 6 satellite for it to have been destroyed if the missile had been armed.

The Soviet Union performed similar tests around the same time. In the 1960s and early 1970s, it tested a weapon that could be launched in orbit, approach enemy satellites and destroy them with an explosive charge, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit research and advocacy organization.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-satellite-tests-factbox-idUSKCN1R80UW

And all those people that protested against the Reagan program, the SDI, only thought we had won a decisive victory when the program was abandoned (or so we thought)…..

It is time for a renewed push to make some things in space illegal…..maybe not this but then there is a plan for a Space Force for the US……there should be guidelines and laws governing and practice.

Deep Inside!

How many have read the book…..or maybe saw the movie……starring Pat Boone……Journey To The Center Of The Earth…..written by Jules Verne?

In the story there is a huge underground sea that our heroes must traverse……of course the usual monsters and nightmares confront our heroes…..silly right?

Hold on! Maybe not so much!

In what sounds like a chapter from Journey to the Centre of the Earth, the chemical makeup of a tiny, extremely rare gemstone has made researchers think that there are oceans that exist hundreds of miles beneath the Earth.

The gemstone in question is called ringwoodite, which is created when olivine, a material that is extremely common in the mantle, is highly pressurized; when it’s exposed to less pressurized environments, it reverts into olivine. It has previously been seen in meteorites and created in a laboratory, but until now had never been found in a sample of the Earth’s mantle.

Diamond expert Graham Pearson of the University of Alberta came across a seemingly worthless, 3 millimeter piece of brown diamond that had been found in Mato Grosso, Brazil while he was researching another type of mineral. Within that diamond, he and his team found ringwoodite—and they found that roughly 1.5 percent of the ringwoodite’s weight was made up of trapped water. The findings are published in Nature.

That water had to get in there somehow, and, using analyses of its depth and its water makeup, Pearson suggests that there’s water deep beneath the Earth’s surface—a lot of it.

https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/ypwvmy/theres-an-ocean-deep-inside-the-earth

Once again Verne is proven to be a perceptive writer……reality invades fiction.

What Is She Thinking?

On this weekend in March I was having a helluva time thinking of something to write about….and then my canine companion, MoMo, gave me an idea…..I watched her analyze a door conundrum she had and she worked out how to get it open so she could go outside….

She spends a lot of time making me feel guilty about some things….

What is she thinking?

This is a planter I was going to use for my salad greens but someone decided otherwise……

What is she thinking?

Watching the world go by one car at a time……

What is she thinking?

The “snake” most die!

What is she thinking?

Okay you get the point, right?

I ask because of an extensive study done on dogs…….I am always fascinated when a study is done that involves our canine companions…..

We tend to think of humans as visual mammals and dogs as olfactory and auditory mammals, but science is challenging these stereotypes. The visual world we make available to our dogs is worth considering because it can impact their well-being. Let’s consider the canine visual cosmos.

Visual acuity in humans is often described using what’s called the Snellen fraction, which is the well-known ratio of “20/20” or “20/40” that represents the quality of one’s eyesight. Dogs have a Snellen fraction of 20/75. This means that what we can see at 75 feet, a dog can see only at 20 feet. Using this method of measuring acuity, dogs have worse vision than humans. But it would be wrong to claim that dogs don’t see as well as humans, since the Snellen fraction provides only one small window into the larger sense of sight. It would be more accurate to say that dogs and humans see the world differently. The visual acuity of dogs evolved to meet dogs’ unique needs, and different doesn’t necessarily mean better or worse.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201903/how-dogs-see-the-world-some-facts-about-the-canine-cosmos

Any one that loves dogs and are fascinated with their antics this study is interesting……

That does it for me on this Saturday……MoMo is demanding attention…I must comply…..resistance is futile…….and a must read.

Have a great day….Be Well, Be Safe…..chuq

Climate Change For A Sunday

We are back to warm weather and rain…..the garden will be happy but MoMo is not……the weekend is a time for reflection and meditation……(not really just time to do those honey dos)…..

Climate change has returned to the national dialog……especially since the introduction of the Dems “Green New Deal”…….I posted a couple of articles on this “plan”…….https://lobotero.com/2019/02/21/that-green-new-deal-2/

After that plan I found another plan to help with climate change….ever hear of “geoengineering”?

Nope?

Now you have……


Harvard’s Gernot Wagner wants to save the world from global warming. His method? Develop a new type of plane that will fly more than 4,000 missions a year dumping particulates into the stratosphere.

Wagner and his colleague Wake Smith call the proposed plane “SAI Lofter (SAIL).” Anonymous individuals at “Airbus, Atlas Air, Boeing, Bombardier, GE Engines, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Near Space Corporation, Northrup Grumman, Rolls Royce Engines, Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company, and Virgin Orbit” provided input.

Estimates for SAIL’s design and operation seem sophisticated but are fabricated. Wagner and Smith admit, “No existing aircraft design—even with extensive modifications—can reasonably fulfill [their] mission.”

Wagner and others believe that scientists can calculate how many particulates will be needed to cool the Earth to a desired temperature.

 
At least this is a plan as is the Green New Deal….all are heads above any plan the GOP may have (BTW they have NOTHING to offer in the fight with climate change)

That is about all I have on this Sunday….I am being prodded to get off my butt and go for that delayed walk…..MoMo is persistent if not anything…LOL

When Mars Attacks?

I got to thinking after a post from last weekend about “alien life”…….what if Mars attacks?

I could go into a review of The Expanse: Season 3….but that would be cheating…..I am offering up what could happen if we have an “alien contact”….no not those “aliens”…..real life ones from a galaxy far far away.

This could be a reality for after all we have spent 50+ years sending messages to space for others to call us or to stop by for a chat……(personally, I do not think those are good ideas)

The Chinese government has promised to investigate the unidentified flying object that forced Xiaoshan Airport to delay 18 flights last week. Tabloids rushed to cover the incident, with the U.K. Sun making a gratuitous “alien craft” reference, and video footage on YouTube led to numerous comments regarding the existence of extraterrestrial life. What if aliens were to make contact—do we have an E.T. contingency plan?

Sort of. The U.S. government is not particularly interested in alien planning. Starting in 1947, the Air Force made a formal study of UFOs but stopped investigations in 1969 after having failed to uncover any evidence of extraterrestrial vehicles or of a threat to national security. In 1992, the government paid for a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project through NASA—the Microwave Observing Program’s mission was to conduct targeted analyses of nearby stars—but deemed it unworthy of funding one year later. There is, however, a nongovernmental organization established by the International Academy of Astronautics to “prepare, reflect on, manage, advise, and consult in preparation for … a putative signal of extraterrestrial intelligent (ETI) origin.” That organization, the SETI: Post-Detection Taskgroup helmed by the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, has a set of recommendations in place.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/07/do-we-have-an-alien-contact-contingency-plan.html

Really! Do we have a plan when ET comes for a visit?

The science fiction movie “Arrival,” which opened in theaters last weekend, poses tantalizing questions about how humans might make contact — and eventually communicate — with intelligent aliens. The much-hyped film has renewed people’s interest in the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. But what would happen if humans really did make contact with an intelligent alien civilization? If E.T. calls, is there a plan?

The answer is yes, and no, said astronomer Seth Shostak, who leads efforts to detect radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

“There are some protocols, but I think that’s an unfortunate name, and it makes them sound more important than they are,” Shostak told Live Science. [Greetings, Earthlings! 8 Ways Aliens Could Contact Us]

https://www.livescience.com/56886-arrival-movie-alien-contact-protocol.html

To answer my question ….then yes we have a plan….the UN has put together protocols for a future meeting……

The United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has announced that it will consider drafting protocols for what to do when we finally make contact with extra-terrestrial civilizations in space. What’s prompting the UN to consider this possibility is the fact that astronomers are expected to announce, perhaps later this year or next year, that our satellites (such as Kepler and Corot) have identified earth-like planets in space. So far, almost 500 large Jupiter-sized planets have been discovered, but earth-like planets are much more difficult to identify.

https://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/un-to-establish-protocols-for-when-we-make-contact-with-aliens

Want more info on UNOOSA……http://www.unoosa.org/

It is always good to have a plan beforehand……never get caught flat footed as they say.