With the frosty relations between the USA and Russia over the USA-sponsored fascist coup in Kiev, and the resulting chaos in the eastern Ukraine, one might think that any major long-range talks of Russo-American space cooperation would be on hold, but that's not the case at all according to this article from Russia's Sputnik magazine from March of this year(shared by Mr. M.D.):
When I read this article, I repeatedly asked myself why these two nations - recently at such loggerheads - could even be contemplating any sort of joint coordination of their national space programs (much less the possibility of joint missions) as is indicate in the following paragraphs:
"Russia and the United States will work together on a roadmap to send humans to Mars and the Moon, according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA will jointly hammer out a "road map" program on flights to Mars and the Moon, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Saturday.
"Bolden, who is currently on a tour of Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, added that he had discussed joint efforts to send missions to the Red Planet with Roscosmos head Igor Komarov, including time frames and funding.
"'Our area of cooperation will be Mars. We are discussing how best to use the resources, the finance, we are setting time frames and distributing efforts in order to avoid duplication,' Bolden said." (Emphasis added)
Now, the very idea of "avoiding duplication" falls far short of the idea of jointly sponsored manned missions, but it is suggestive. The question for the high octane speculation of the day is "why?" this need to have such talks amid the tense geopolitical situation? And my answer, highly speculative though it may be (and it is certainly not a speculation that exhausts all the possibilities), is that this may be a signal of a very covert agenda. As most regular readers here are aware, I am definitely in that camp that thinks there are significant indicators of artificial "stuff" out there on our neighboring celestial bodies. (Recall this blog from 2013: JUST WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH MARS, ANYWAY?) And it's that possibility of "stuff" out there, especially on Mars, that may be the hidden story here, for the USA may be trying to bring Russia into the Mars exploration-and-disclosure game in order to exercise influence over whatever "stuff", if any, they might find, and eventually, thus be able to influence the precise way that it might be disclosed should they confirm any "stuff" really is there.
And if that's the case, then it will be interesting to see how the other space-faring powers - China, India, Japan, Europe(i.e. Germany) - respond. It is indeed a notable fact that the European Space Agency, along with NASA, has been releasing some rather stunning pictures from Darmstadt, not only from the Red Planet, but from other celestial bodies recently, and doing so without much comment, almost as if a kind of limited hangout position was being put into place. And China of course released some odd pictures from the Moon(and released them in a very odd way on the People's Liberation Army website, to boot), and again, without much comment.
So the bottom line for me here is that there is something definitely going on with this NASA-Russia space consultation, and we can bet our bottom dollar that we're not being told the whole story. I suspect strongly that that story includes whatever pictures of Mars the Russians may have locked up in their archives, and, by careful comparison between those and current returns from the Red Planet, that quite a lot of behind the scenes discussion is being had on where a manned mission should land, the best to confirm, or deny, that there may be "stuff". And if there is "stuff", how best to handle and release the information.
See you on the flip side...