This story was shared by Mr. S.D., and given its intrinsic interest in the aftermath of the Secret Space Program conference, not to mention its implications in the current geopolitical atmosphere, it's worth drawing attention to this one:
Now, before we turn to a consideration of the article itself, let's consider the geopolitical atmosphere. France's largest bank, and indeed one of the world's largest, BNP-Paribas, has recently been stiffly sanctioned by the USA for its role in continuing the transfer of French-built aircraft carriers to the Russian navy. France, one of the world's largest armaments exporters, has politely but firmly dodged a significant aspect of western sanctions against Russia for its "role" in the Ukrainian fiasco and its intervention in the Crimea, a signal, perhaps, that the European powers - not to mention the general population in Europe - are cynical toward the cover stories being put out, and that they ultimately know that this was a USA-created and driven crisis.
Which brings up the subject of Franco-American space cooperation, and what it might portend in such a context. Ponder, for a moment, some statements from the article:
"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the National Center of Space Studies of France (CNES), signed an implementing agreement Monday for cooperation on a future NASA Mars lander called the Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) mission.
"'This new agreement strengthens the partnership between NASA and CNES in planetary science research, and builds on more than 20 years of cooperation with CNES on Mars exploration,' said Bolden. 'The research generated by this collaborative mission will give our agencies more information about the early formation of Mars, which will help us understand more about how Earth evolved.'"
I suspect that behind the usual blather about "understanding more about how the Earth evolved," there lies a much different agenda. After all, Mars is Mars, and the Earth is the Earth. But it "sounds nice" and "scientific."
What interests here is the reference to using "seismic" equipment to explore the interior of Mars. One suspects that this might include radar tomography capabilities as well. Those following the Mars anomalies story will recall in this connection the strange indications of "tubes" and rectilinear features suggested beneath the surface of Mars in some Soviet era and American photographs of the red planet. And some will recall G. Neukum's release of some very intriguing ESA photographs of Mars' surface which are ...well... "suggestive." Neukum in most cases does not comment on these photos.
So seismic studies of Mars could just as easily be a convenient cover story to look, not so much at the structure of Mars, but at potential structures beneath its surface. By involving elements of the European space community in bi-lateral agreements for joint probes to Mars, an inevitable component of such agreements will be security agreements involving any potential "anomalous" information.
In short, what might really be happening here is that NASA is seeking to extend the American classification system internationally, under the guise of such joint missions.
Look for more of them.
But remember, the fly in the space ointment right now is China.
See you on the flip side...