If It’s Sunday, It Is Space News

I know it has been a helluva week….but since I am one of the few bloggers with an eye on space I need to report the stuff happening.

Was that a message?

On December 18, 2020, Ian Sample of the Guardian published a report about a tantalizing radio signal at 982.002MHz that was detected within the Breakthrough Listen project by the Parkes telescope in Australia from the nearest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri. This infrared star hosts an Earth-size planet, Proxima b, in its habitable zone, where liquid water could allow the chemistry of life on the planet’s surface. There was no scientific paper accompanying the report, and therefore it’s too early to draw any inferences.

Astronomers must verify that the signal cannot originate from radio interference on Earth or some natural emission mechanism. Terrestrial interference should be different for telescopes at different locations on Earth. If the radio source repeats and resides on Proxima b, then it should show an 11-day modulation associated with the planet’s orbital (and spin) period. As soon as I saw the news report, I wrote to the publisher of my forthcoming book Extraterrestrial on the search for intelligent life: “We might have friends out there. Better than a five-star review is getting reassurance for the book’s content from an actual star on the sky.”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-we-receive-a-message-from-a-planet-orbiting-the-nearest-star/

The question is asked….have we been contacted in the past?

Canadian astronomer named Robert Weryk was reviewing images captured by a telescope known as Pan-STARRS1 when he noticed something strange. The telescope is situated atop Haleakalā, a ten-thousand-foot volcanic peak on the island of Maui, and it scans the sky each night, recording the results with the world’s highest-definition camera. It’s designed to hunt for “near-Earth objects,” which are mostly asteroids whose paths bring them into our planet’s astronomical neighborhood and which travel at an average velocity of some forty thousand miles an hour. The dot of light that caught Weryk’s attention was moving more than four times that speed, at almost two hundred thousand miles per hour.

Weryk alerted colleagues, who began tracking the dot from other observatories. The more they looked, the more puzzling its behavior seemed. The object was small, with an area roughly that of a city block. As it tumbled through space, its brightness varied so much—by a factor of ten—that it had to have a very odd shape. Either it was long and skinny, like a cosmic cigar, or flat and round, like a celestial pizza. Instead of swinging around the sun on an elliptical path, it was zipping away more or less in a straight line. The bright dot, astronomers concluded, was something never before seen. It was an “interstellar object”—a visitor from far beyond the solar system that was just passing through. In the dry nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union, it became known as 1I/2017 U1. More evocatively, it was dubbed ‘Oumuamua (pronounced “oh-mooah-mooah”), from the Hawaiian, meaning, roughly, “scout.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/25/have-we-already-been-visited-by-aliens

Is this guy one of those Ancient Alien conspiracists?

Trump admin has been ordered to explore the possibility for nukes in space….

the White House released an executive order Jan. 12 seeking to promote the development of small nuclear reactors for space and defense applications.

The executive order, “Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration,” includes separate directions for NASA and the Defense Department to pursue small nuclear reactors for their uses, while cooperating on common technologies for those systems.

For space exploration, the executive order directs the NASA administrator to prepare a report within 180 days defining “requirements for NASA utilization of nuclear energy systems for human and robotic exploration missions through 2040 and analyze the costs and benefits of such requirements.” Those requirements include details such as power levels, reactor size and mass, and specific issues associated with operating such reactors in the space environment

White House executive order promotes development of space and defense nuclear power systems

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Do As Say Not As We Do

The US is always accusing others of the very things they do….and looks like space will be NO different.

I have written about the plans the US has for space…..https://lobotero.com/2020/12/06/mission-space/

A general within the Space Force has stated that we need to be ready for China and Russia are weaponizing space….

Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations for the US Space Force, accused Russia and China of weaponizing space during a virtual event on Thursday.

The general insisted that the US has no desire to weaponize space but said “unfortunately” China and Russia plan to, so the US must create a military deterrence. “Our goals are to deter conflict from beginning or extending into space,” Raymond said.

Raymond also stressed the importance of working with allies in space. “I’m going to really work hard on cultivating partnerships,” he said, citing cooperation with Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, France, New Zealand, and Germany.

“We’re really turning these partnerships into partnerships where we operate together; we train together; we exercise together; we war-game together; we develop capabilities together, and it’s proven to pay significant advantages and there’s future growth opportunities ahead,” he said.

Now that the US has a military branch dedicated to space, the US needs to hype the threat of adversary activity in space, something Raymond has been busy doing. In November, the general said the US is facing growing threats in space, again citing China and Russia.

“I think there’s a realization amongst nations that access to space is no longer a given. We’ve got to make sure that we stay ahead of this growing threat,” he said.

(antiwar.com)

Wait we are accusing China and Russia of doing the same things we are doing….I cannot wait for the propaganda to start in earnest…..

Not to worry….the cash will be well spent (that is total sarcasm in your missed it)

President Donald Trump made the Space Force a reality when he signed the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 20, 2019. It temporarily reassigned 16,000 airmen and civilians to the new branch and dissolved the Air Force’s leading major command overseeing space, Air Force Space Command.

Leaders say the January missile warning and other high-profile operations are milestones to be proud of as the service marks its first birthday.

But with adversaries testing satellite-busting technology and other space weapons that could wreak havoc on rank-and-file troops’ operations, the Space Force says it is focused on the mission.

The Space Force concept has been criticized and even mocked, and some continue to hold that space operations should fall under the Air Force.

But Pentagon officials have warned that space threats have been increasing over the last decade. Both Russia and China have been focused on technological advancements, and U.S. intelligence agencies have observed Russia testing non-kinetic, anti-satellite weapons. Earlier this year, two Russian satellites, Cosmos 2542 and 2543, tailed an American satellite, known as USA 245 or KH-11. Time Magazine reported the Russian satellites loitered within 100 miles of KH-11, activity that Raymond called “unusual and disturbing.”

Just another venue for the profit taking of the M-IC…..and another venue for Americans to involve itself in more endless ‘wars’….

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More Space Stuff

Another weekend and yet more space stuff for your enjoyment and knowledge….

Back in the 50s the US was caught flat-footed by the Russians when they successfully put a object in space, the Sputnik.

Sputnik?

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

The Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite,” was launched at 10:29 p.m. on 04 October 1957.  Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. 

And ever since the US has tried to always tried to remain one step ahead of the Russia…..and today is NO different…..

Space has once again become a prominent national security issue 63 years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite.  Sputnik’s launch sent shockwaves throughout the U.S., thought to have been the world’s technological leader.  This historical event and the U.S. response provides us with valuable context for how the U.S. faces the current space challenge posed by today’s array of potential adversaries.

In meeting this challenge, the U.S. has established Space Force, a U.S. Air Force component.  The operational arm of Space Force will be U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM), a unified combatant command created in 1985 before being disbanded and subsumed by U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in 2002.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/12/23/us_space_command__preventing_another_sputnik_654267.html

These days there is a whole industry built up around space…..with Musk and others trying to capitalize on the promise of unforeseen profits the race is on…..and with this type of stuff changes are inevitable….

The attention of the world has recently been captured by the return of Japan’s Hayabusa-2 asteroid mission, the activities of Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture, and China’s Chang’e 5 moon landing, yet a quiet revolution is taking place in the global space industry. This revolution started in the 2010s and its full impact on global space industry should be measured over the next decade.

In the next 10 years, the entry into service of constellations of small satellites should reshape the face of the global space industry. While the miniaturization of satellites is not a disruptive innovation in itself, it signals a paradigm shift. It will continue to significantly reduce the cost of access to space and pave the way for the mass production of satellites, which in turn will reduce the cost of the space infrastructure itself.

The space industry used to be organized in highly hierarchical industrial chains around prime contractors, most often under public leadership, NASA being a leading example. It now operates like industrial ecosystems budding upstream or downstream around private space infrastructure.

https://theconversation.com/major-changes-coming-over-the-horizon-for-the-global-space-industry-152289

It use to be about the scientific first….but today it is more about the promise of profit than the exploration for the sake of exploration.

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Old Prof’s Look At Space Law (Again)

It is a Sunday and as usual I have a bunch to say about the rush to exploit space….

I have been trying to educate the readers about the dash to space and the law that I see as being violated by all those in this mad dash……

To help catch my readers up with what I have stated…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/12/space-law/

https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/space-law-part-2/

https://lobotero.com/2019/08/01/do-laws-apply-in-space/

Now if you have read my posts you are caught up with my feelings on the laws that should govern all space exploration…..

The US and others are considering placing nukes in space….this is a violation of the 1967 treaty that we signed….what we need is to bring space law into the 21st century…..

The legal and governance challenge that exists with respect to outer space is that the core legal frameworks for space law were all agreed upon during the Cold War. The 1967 Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies (aka the Outer Space Treaty) is the founding treaty, and was supplemented by the separate 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Moon Agreement). While both treaties have been in force since 1967 and 1984, respectively, adoption has been variable, with 110 parties to the Outer Space Treaty and only 18 parties to the Moon Treaty. Australia has adopted both. While the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are all parties to the Outer Space Treaty, none have adopted the Moon Treaty.

One of the overarching international law principles that applies in outer space is “common heritage”. The common heritage principle was first promoted in the 1960s and applied to the deep seabed. Similar terms are found in the Outer Space Treaty and Moon Agreement. The common heritage principle includes non-appropriation of resources, benefit sharing and associated principles such as the freedom of scientific research, freedom of access and environmental stewardship.

Governance of outer space is also problematic, given that traditional notions of state sovereignty do not apply, and there is no overarching governing body. Within the UN, the General Assembly established in 1959 the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The Committee has a mandate to review “international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, studying space-related activities that could be undertaken by the United Nations, encouraging space research programs and studying legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space”. However, the focus of COPUOS has been on peaceful uses of outer space, and not current concerns such as the militarisation of outer space.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/12/15/bringing_space_law_into_the_21st_century_653203.html

I like the original treaty and I think that is what it should be…..a resource used for all people of the planet….not for the exploitation of a few.

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Monoliths A Many

The first monolith was discovered in Utah and of course I had to write about it……https://lobotero.com/2020/12/03/closing-thought-03dec20/ it then disappeared and reemerged in Romania I believe……then again elsewhere…..They’ve so far been spotted in Utah, California, the Isle of Wight, Romania and now Australia. The new monolith in Australia sadly puts our theory that aliens are creating an “I’m with stupid” sign pointing right at Monaco to bed.

The newest monolith has a set of coordinates…..

The latest monolith (and yes, we’re still calling it a monolith – we’re not going to be the only news organization calling it a “big metal thing” even though it’s technically not a monolith) comes with a new mystery. There appear to be coordinates written all over it.

The first set of coordinates mark the location for Trump Tower, New York, Yahoo News reports. Who knows at this point, maybe it’s a marketing gimmick from Trump in conjunction with the galactic civilizations he’s supposedly in contact with (according to the former head of Israel’s Space Security Program). 

The other coordinates point to seemingly random locations including Managaha, an uninhabited island  in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Sphinx in Egypt. If you’re going to write mysterious coordinates on a monolith, may as well put the Sphinx in there while you’re at it.

Though mysterious, we’re pretty sure now that all the monoliths are copycats of the original monolith in Utah, which has appeared on Google Maps since 2016. There’s even footage of one group of copycats taking a monolith out into the middle of nowhere and then “discovering” it.

https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/the-new-monolith-in-australia-has-cryptic-coordinates-for-locations-all-over-the-world/

Did the coordinates say anything about space?

Yes I said space.

An unidentified object hovering in space near the International Space Station was live-streamed on NASA TV on Tuesday. The object appeared to be some 10 meters in length and about 2 meters across, and perhaps 3 km from the ISS. It is in the shape of a silver monolith.

Silver monoliths have been sighted in various places on Earth, since November when a silver monolith appeared in Utah’s Red Rock Desert. As far as we know, this is the first one found in Earth orbit.

Earth orbit is full of debris from defunct satellites and discarded rocket stages. Such objects, however, typically appear to tumble end over end. This object was stable, hanging in space as it appeared to observe the station.

Video of the close encounter may be seen here: https://twitter.com/CosmicNewsToday/status/1336827034828419072?s=20

Update 12/12: Men in Black, Twitter remove video. https://www.smobserved.com/story/2020/12/11/news/twitter-censors-and-removes-video-of-silver-monolith-shot-from-international-space-station-men-in-black/5130.html

Late 2020 has seen numerous sightings of mystery silver monoliths. On November 29th, hikers near San Luis Obispo, California discovered a third 10-foot metal monolith almost identical to the two others discovered in Utah and Romania. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/11/10200246/mysterious-metal-monolith-utah-romania-explained

In Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001, a Space Odyssey, black monoliths are a theme. But recently, monoliths have appeared outside of science fiction. Monoliths even appear in photos of Mars and one of its moons, Phobos. https://www.smobserved.com/story/2020/12/06/news/nasa-photos-show-utah-monolith-on-mars-martian-moon-phobos/5086.html

(Santa Monica Observer)

Let your imagination run amok!

Enjoy your Saturday….Be well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sunday Space (Redux)

I had a post ready for my traditional Sunday Space News and then I had a brain fart and hit the publish button instead of draft….so in case you missed it….https://lobotero.com/2020/12/10/sundays-space/

But that is not all there is…..in case you missed (and most did)…..the Trump Boyz released their space policy plan….and as I have been saying the whole time….it reads more like a recipe for the invasion and occupation and exploitation of space for the corporate heads.

The Trump administration released a new national space policy Dec. 9 that articulates U.S. goals in civil space exploration, commercial growth and national security. The document recognizes the U.S. Space Force as the primary organization responsible for defending the nation’s interests in space.

The previous version of the national space policy was issued by the Obama administration in 2010.

The Pentagon in a statement said the new policy document “highlights the Department of Defense as a key agency in implementing and achieving the nation’s goals in this important domain.”

Trump administration’s national space policy formalizes Space Force role

As usual…..do not take my word for it and if you like you can read the plan for yourself…..

Click to access National-Space-Policy.pdf

I realize that there are limited amount of time for some of us on-line….so let me jump to a synopsis for those with the limited time…..

It has five major headings with several bullet points each.  The following excerpts provide a snapshot.

“AMERICA FIRST AMONG THE STARS: President Trump’s National Space Strategy works within his broader national security policy by putting America’s interests firsts.”  It “emphasizes dynamic and cooperative interplay between the national security, commercial, and civil space sectors,” and “ensures that international agreements put the interests of American people, workers, and businesses first.”  It also “prioritizes regulatory reforms that will unshackle American industry….”

“SPACE PREEMINENCE THROUGH THE AMERICAN SPIRIT: President Trump’s National Space Strategy harnesses the American spirit and continues the American tradition of pioneering and exploration.”  It lays “the groundwork for the next generation of American exploration in space” and “establishes forthrightly that securing the scientific, commercial and national security benefits of space is a top priority for this Administration.”

“PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: President Trump’s space strategy builds on the National Security Strategy emphasizing peace through strength in the space domain.”  It ensures “unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in space”; “affirms that any harmful interference with or attack upon critical components of our space architecture … will be met with a deliberate response at a time, place, manner, and domain of our choosing”; “recognizes that our competitors and adversaries have turned space into a warfighting domain”; and the “United States will seek to deter, counter, and defeat threats in the space domain that are hostile to the national interests of the United States and our allies.”

“FOUR PILLARS FOR A UNIFIED APPROACH: President Donald J. Trump’s new National Space Strategy drives a “whole-of-government” approach to United States leadership in space, in close partnership with the private sector and our allies, and is based on four essential pillars.”  They are: “transform to more resilient space architectures”; “strengthen deterrence and warfighting options”; “improve foundational capabilities, structures, and processes”; and “foster conducive domestic and international environments.”

“A NEW DIRECTION FOR U.S. SPACE: President Trump has already taken significant steps to reorient American space policy and set it on the right path for the future.”  It identifies those steps as recreating the National Space Council and signing Space Policy Directive-1.

White House Releases Fact Sheet on New National Space Strategy – Updated

Nothing about this plan says that it is for the peaceful exploration of space for the good of all mankind (reference Outer Space Treaty of 1967).

Nothing has changed my opinion of the course for our newest military service, the Space Force.

Did you know the there was a US Office of Space Commerce?

This is the website only under Trump it is accessible…….https://www.space.commerce.gov/  This mission statement

The Office of Space Commerce is the principal unit for space commerce policy activities within the Department of Commerce. Its mission is to foster the conditions for the economic growth and technological advancement of the U.S. commercial space industry.

Not to worry Biden has plans for space as well…..

Biden has already signalled that he sees NASA’s role as having a greater focus on addressing the global challenge posed by climate change. That would certainly mean investing more in new satellites and scientific research to monitor changing weather patterns and rising sea levels and to deal with climate-change-induced extreme weather. A more ambitious, parallel approach would be to invest in establishing a permanent human presence in space, including on and around the moon, to support the development of space-related renewable energy technology, such as space-based solar power.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/12/11/bidens_space_policy_boldly_going__where_652752.html

To Infinity And Beyond”!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Sunday’s Space

CRAP!  I hit the wrong button…..post instead of draft….enjoy a few days early….

Another Sunday and more space news that means nothing to most people….but I am a child of the 50s and space was always on mind mind…..

Does anyone remember Voyager probe?  Yes it was featured in the Star Trek original movie….it was named Veger….

The two Voyager spacecraft were launched by Nasa more than 40 years ago, with the aim of flying to the far reaches of our solar system. They have now gone even further than that, reaching interstellar space, and exploring the gaps between the stars, giving us the first glimpses of what it might be like in that mysterious zone.

The latest discovery from the spacecraft – using data taken from both Voyager 1 and 2 – saw them pick up bursts of electrons like none ever detected before. They found that cosmic ray electrons are being accelerated by shock waves that originate in major eruptions on the sun, and are then flung out into space.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/voyager-electron-burst-solar-system-spacecraft-nasa-b1766237.html

Once we get to Mars one of the challenges will be oxygen to breath….and now a system has been invented to extract oxygen from the Martian water…..

Humankind’s quest to set up base on Mars has received a boost as scientists have now claimed to have discovered a way that can help extract oxygen and fuel from the salty water found on the red planet.

The water which is salty due to the Martian soil can’t be used for drinking purposes. Even electrolysis, the usual method of using electricity to break it down into oxygen (to breathe) and hydrogen (for fuel) requires removing the salt – a cumbersome method that can be a costly endeavour in a harsh environment like Mars.

But now researchers at Washington University in St Louis have developed an electrolysis system that can directly separate oxygen and hydrogen from briny water – in a less complicated and expensive manner.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-extract-oxygen-fuel-mars-salty-water-b1765034.html

I am a geek for diplomacy…..and have written about space and laws and such…..but how will diplomacy effect space exploration?
This is a paper by a grad student…..
Let us be frank, humankind is not exactly renowned for its willingness to collaborate, particularly when self-interest must be sacrificed. Though we have made enormous progress on the back of collaboration, the history of humankind is littered with stories of greed, corruption, and a constant willingness to stratify and dominate others. But as we step into the future, into the great beyond of space, that must remain buried in the sands of history. Humans must reject the identities that are protective shells for advancing personal interest and adopt a collective vision. One that allows for freedom and respect for sovereign thought processes, but also champions ethical and moral considerations. Most likely, this will occur at the level of the nation-state.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sunday’s Space News

Thanksgiving is done…the leftovers are in the ‘frig…..are you sick of turkey yet?

Let’s begin with 2001….the movie not the year……

Remember it all started with that monolith that appears before the humanoids and they then learn to use bone as a weapon….

Why is that piece of fiction important?

It’s just “about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot tells KSL-TV: That thing is a 10- to 12-foot high metal monolith sticking up out of the ground in a “very remote” red rock area in the southeastern part of the state. The helicopter was assisting Utah Division of Wildlife Resource officers in counting bighorn sheep when a biologist spotted the monolith. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!” the pilot says.

“We came across this, in the middle of nowhere, buried deep in the rock. Inquiring minds want to know, what the heck is it? Anyone?” the Department of Public Safety’s Aero Bureau posted on Instagram. The team says the monolith seems to have been planted in the ground, as opposed to having been dropped from above, and that it appears to be manmade; some of them suspect it was installed as some sort of artwork. There’s also, of course, rampant speculation that it was installed by aliens. “It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” the DPS notes in a press release.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/metal-monolith-location-google-earth

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/25/mysterious-obelisk-in-us-desert-in-utah-draws-wild-theories

Pence and Trump thumped their chests a few years ago that the US would be back on the Moon by 2024…..not so fast….

In a recent report, NASA admitted that landing the first astronauts on the Moon since the Apollo era in 2024 might be a bit of a stretch, as The Guardian reports.

The report, released by the agency’s inspector general last week, elucidates the budgetary challenges involved in realizing its Artemis program.

NASA would need to request “approximately $28 billion between 2021 and 2025,” according to the analysis, to “realize its lunar ambitions on the expedited timetable.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/nasa-admits-wont-land-moon-astronauts-2024

All the science nerds are trying to make space travel easier so we can go beyond Earth and rule the galaxy….the newest attempt is with solar……

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are testing whether they could harness the heat of the Sun to propel a spacecraft to the far reaches of the solar system, Wired reports — and maybe beyond it, to the interstellar wastes.

According to the team working on the technology, solar propulsion is no longer a distant dream. The university’s “solar simulator,” a converted shipping container lined with thousands of LEDs, may have just proved that it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

“What this is showing is that solar thermal propulsion is not just a fantasy,” materials scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory Jason Benjoski told Wired.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/nasa-tests-experimental-interstellar-propulsion-system

Since its announcement I have been writing about our newest military service…..Space Force.

I point out that this is just another way for the weapons industry to keep their profits rolling in hand over fist…..and now the Progressives are calling on Biden to do the wise thing…..

According to a memo first obtained by Politico, progressive groups are planning to pressure president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team into slashing military budgets — with one specific aim being to eliminate the US Space Force.

The memo calls out the Space Force as an “unnecessary bureaucracy that costs $16 billion in 2021” and militarizes space, as quoted by SpaceNews, which obtained the memo as well.

The $16 billion referred to by the memo technically came out of the budget of the Air Force and was requested for the 2021 fiscal year back in February. It’s also dwarfed by the Pentagon’s overall $740 billion budget.

https://futurism.com/progressive-groups-elimination-space-force

Nothing about the Space Force strikes me as self-defense….more like an invasion and occupation force of the future…..I guess one planet is not enough…..we feel that space is our last frontier (where have I heard that?)

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Sunday Space Stuff

That time of the weekend again….the time when I focus attention on the space race…..a race to rape the universe.

China is about to re-make history….and bring Moon rocks back to Earth….

China is continuing to flex its space muscles. On Tuesday, it rolled a rocket into place that is scheduled to lift off for an ambitious mission to the moon early next week, reports the AP. The Long March-5 will carry the Chang’e 5, whose mission is to fetch rocks and other material from the moon—the first time humans will have done so in more than 40 years, per Nature. The mission calls for Chang’e 5’s moon lander component to dig about 7 feet down from the surface and bring up what it finds. It’s a complement to a 2019 mission in which China became the first nation to land a rover on the far side of the moon.

“To take it to the next level to return samples from the moon is a significant technological capability,” says planetary geologist Carolyn van der Bogert of the University of Münster, Germany. China also has a mission to Mars currently underway. Analysis of the soon-to-be-retrieved moon rocks could answer questions about the moon’s evolution and perhaps shed light on planets as well, per Nature. As for the earlier moon mission, China’s rover continues to send back photos, and Space.com has the latest ones

WE must be ready for “orbital warfare”…..so claims the leadership wants the world to believe……

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond’s new guidance document strikes a distinctly martial tone, focusing future investment on “orbital warfare” capabilities out to the Moon and beyond.

The guidance — which covers all aspects of Space Force development from command structure to new acquisition practices based on digital engineering, to “force design” and to training — is aimed at rapidly building the new service’s capability to handle the “shift from space as a benign domain to a warfighting domain,” Raymond told reporters today.

The guidance “aligns our priorities, activities and goals,” he said. “It’s a roadmap for the future, to compete and deter and win as outlined in the National Defense Strategy.”

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/11/gen-raymond-targets-combat-ready-space-force/

Most people know that we now have another branch of military service…The Space Force…..and within this branch will be Space Marines…..

As if 2020 hasn’t brought us enough surprises, U.S. Space Command announced on Friday that the U.S. military can now count Space Marines among its ranks … or something along those lines.

According to a press release, the Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger ordered the activation of the Marine Corps Forces Space Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., effective Oct. 1, 2020.

The new command “will focus on providing space operational support to the Fleet Marine Force,” the press release said. It will be led by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Matthew G. Glavy.

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/marine-corps-forces-space-command-space-marines

I often say the our new Space Force sounds more like an invasion and occupation force than a self-defense force…..

If you are interested to see where your grandchildren will be fighting those endless wars then this article may help……https://thediplomat.com/2020/11/how-the-us-space-force-doctrine-paves-the-way-for-future-warfighting/

The endless wars in the future…..not much will change….just the location.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Artemis Accords

What does the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, UAE and the UK all have in common?

The answer is not the Covid-19 virus. They have all signed the Artemis Accords.

Scratch head and ask…HUH?

Via the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding in a new era for space exploration and utilization.While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars. With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.International space agencies that join NASA in the Artemis program will do so by executing bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, which will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for the benefit of humanity.

Click to access Artemis-Accords_v7_print.pdf

It appears that there is now a code of conduct for any Moon missions.

NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. And no trespassing at historic lunar landmarks like Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements., the AP reports. So far, eight countries have signed these so-called Artemis Accords. Founding members include the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he expects more countries to join the effort to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024.

It promises to be the largest coalition for a human spaceflight program in history, according to Bridenstine, and is expected to pave the way for eventual Mars expeditions. “It’s important not only to travel to the moon “with our astronauts, but that we bring with us our values,” noted NASA’s acting chief for international and interagency relations, Mike Gold.

Rule No. 1: Everyone must come in peace. Other rules:

  • Secrecy is banned, and all launched objects need to be identified and registered.
  • All members agree to pitch in with astronaut emergencies.
  • Space systems must be universal so everyone’s equipment is compatible, and scientific data must be shared.
  • Historic sites must be preserved, and any resulting space junk must be properly disposed.
  • Rovers and other spacecraft cannot have their missions jeopardized by others getting too close.

Violators could be asked to leave, according to Bridenstine. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said.

NASA Proposes the Artemis Accords. The New Rules for Lunar Exploration

A “Code of Conduct” is a fine idea….but what about the nations that have not signed on to the Artemis Accords?

Nations like India, China, Russia, South Korea……have not signed on so how do we control the conduct of these nations?

Since these “Accords” are supposedly based on the treaty from 1967……read and learn…..

Click to access STSPACE11E.pdf

More treaties to be watched…

If it appears as if I find these Accords lacking….then I am doing a good job….and I am not alone in thinking this Accord thing is unimpressive…..

On 13 October 2020 the directors of NASA and seven other national space agencies signed the Artemis Accords, a document purporting to articulate international norms for the development of the Moon, Mars and other celestial objects of economic interest in the near future. International public opinion ignored the announcement and international elite opinion was underwhelmed. Yet, there are good reasons why so few outside the orbit of space policy experts took notice and many of those who did were unimpressed.

Opinion – The Unimpressive Nature of the Artemis Accords

This is going to be interesting to watch (well interesting to me)…..some say I am spinning my blogging wheels with this issue….but to me it will be the next horizon for international relations……so I watch and write.

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