A STRANGE WEEK OF SPACE NEWS: PART TWOJune 30, 2016
Yesterday you'll recall I blogged about several space-related stories that surfaced this past week. A brief review is in order before we get to today's high octane speculations. You'll recall that Russia's Roskosmos annouced plans for a permanent human base on the Moon, to be partially constructed by robots. In the same article however, Mr. Dmitri Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, also stated that it was unlikely Russia would ever catch up with NASA and the various private US space ventures, mentioning specifically Mr. Elon Musk. On the same day, you'll recall, an article was released about the European Space Agency's plans for a space station in orbit at the quigravisphere(the neutral point of gravity between the Earth and the Moon, where the gravitational attraction of each body is the same). Needless to say, this means such a station would be closer to the Moon than to Earth. Given the fact that this project is an ESA project, means that it is an international one, with certain nations being the key players(think Germany here). This story about a base between the Earth and the Moon has appeared before, and I have blogged about it before, but the story appeared again on June 22, the same date as the Roscosmos story. Timing, in other words, suggests "something is up", and we'll get to that in a moment.
But also recall that it has been a whole year of strange space news, not the least of which have been the remarks of US General Kinney about "fighting little green men" - and sorry folks, I'm simply not buying that he was simply using military code and slang jargon to refer to Russian Spetznaz in the Ukraine! He knows full well what the phrase colloquially means. It has also been a year in which we've seen NASA recuitment posters about "signing up for Mars" and US army recruiment videos referencing combat with aliens and the new Independence Day movie, and Boeing commericlals of a similar nature during the stupor bowl. Recall also that the Russian Sputnik coverage of US space command activities and papers gave titles and subtitles emphasizing something far different than the actual terrestrially-preoccupied contents of those studies themselves. We can also throw into this mix the stories we've seen about Russian asteroid detection systems being up and running, and for that matter, those strange statements of Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev about Russia needing to build an asteroid defense system, with or without international cooperation, remarks he made, you'll recall, almost exactly a month prior to the Chelyabinsk Meteor incident.
So what's going on?
Herewith my high octane speculation of the day: I think the timing of yesterday's stories is perhaps significant, as is the steady trickle of such stories in the past two years or so. What we're seeing, I suggest, is the careful (perhaps orchestrated) attempt to create an internationally agreed-upon order in space, including any commericial and military means to protect commercial assets in space. Such stories and pronouncements have the air, in my opinion, of maneuvering and jockeying for position and influence in the creation of that order. I think it is entirely possible that what we may be seeing - particularly in the wake of the BREXIT vote in the UK - is an effort to create a genuine international "federalization" of space military assets via agreed-upon international treaty for mutual defense and protection of space assets, and that, of course, implies that these efforts are protecting from "someone". Behind the scenes, in other words, there is quiet talk among Earth's space powers - the USA, Russia, China, India, Japan, Brazil, and Europe(i.e., France, Germany, Italy) - about how to go about doing this, and coordinating any military responses. To put it country simple, these stories are suggesting to me that, ala the old cult classic Alternative Three, there is quiet and very secret policy coordination in space and that terrestrial divisions and competition in space are deliberately not being allowed to reach the point of outright conflict in "deep space." Perhaps - to extend these high octane speculations - the selection of the equigravisphere for the ESA's space station is that these terrestrial conflicts of interest extend "here but no farther."
Think about that for a moment, for if this high octane speculation - perhaps it is even a prediction - is that we're watching a quiet new international order emerging in space. After all, if one cannot create such an order on Earth, then the next best thing is to create it in space, including any military cooperation, and then extend it to Earth. This will take time, decades, of course. But the bottom line is, this, I think, is now the game plan. Or to put it country simple: the rest of the world's space powers are not going to tolerate or accept any American unipolarism in space. Watch, therefore, for the non-American space powers to announce all sorts of space cooperation deals. And in support of that hypothesis, I offer the following article in support:
See you on the flip side...