Mr. S.D. shared this story, and it's one worth paying attention to, for while there was all the ruckus and fuss as last year closed about the Machiavellian super-criminal-mastermind Vladimir Putin - the Fu Manchu of Russia - and his evil plots to hack Any and All Elections Everywhere, another quiet story slipped out and almost no one noticed, though NBC news did do a nice article on it:
But the real news was this document released last month(Dec., 2016) by the Obama Administration, and if one reads between the lines a bit, it's a real whopper doozie:
Before we get to exactly what the whopper-doozie consists of, however, it's worth recalling the affidavit of Dr. Carol Rosin, a former professional associate of Dr. Wernher von Braun at Fairchild Industries after the latter resigned from NASA. Rosin is, as many regular readers of this website are also aware, an advocate for the peaceful uses of outer space, and has been advocating against the weaponization of space. And well might Dr. Rosin do so, for she also has gone on record about a "plan" that Dr. von Braun disclosed to her prior to his death, and an interesting - and discomfortingly "familiar" - plan it is. According to Rosin in her "Affidavit" first communicated to Dr. Steven Greer of "UFO disclosure" fame, Dr. von Braun told her that the plan to weaponize space would first appeal to the Communist threat, meaning Russia's thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at the USA(Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, anyone?), then the appeal would be to terrorists, then would come "nations of concern" with emerging nuclear arsenals and crazy kooky leaders (North Korea, anyone?), then would come asteroids (notice how asteroid defense is the topic of the day?), and finally, of course, would come the extraterrestrial threat, and the need to defend ourselves against it. Of course, at that time and for a long time afterward, many people thought Dr. Rosin was...well, just a little bit "out there." Not this author. And she, or rather, Dr. von Braun, has been proven incredibly accurate...
... for we're now at the penultimate stage of "the plan to weaponize space." The real question now, is, weaponize it with what? Defend Earth from "near Earth objects" with what?
This is where it gets really interesting, for note the first thing about this paper: the title of the paper is not "National Near Earth Asteroids Preparedness Strategy," but rather "National Near Earth Objects Preparedness Strategy." In other words, the wording itself can be taken as indicative of the last two phases of Dr. Rosin's Affidavit of what she maintains Dr. von Braun told her. I've met Dr. Rosin and on occasion corresponded with her, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt her or her integrity. If she says von Braun told her about this plan, then he told her about it. And the proof of this, it would seem to me, is in the title of this "national preparedness strategy" paper. Language means things, and has to be parsed very carefully, especially when coming from officialdom: "near Earth objects" could mean just about anything that's out there, from asteroids, to asteroids being "steered" toward us, to objects not natural at all, like UFOs and spaceships.
So what's the whopper doozie? Direct your attention to page 8 after reading the rest of the document, where a great deal of discussion is given to reconnaissance technologies that can sense the mass and chemical composition of "near Earth Objects" and be able to be launched from Earth or near Earth orbit quickly in order to determine the nature of the threat and therefore the appropriate technological response. I submit that even though this has obvious applications to asteroid detection and defense, it's that "quick response" part that suggests that their is a dual purpose to this technology.
Then, beginning on page 8, one reads:
Develop Methods for NEO Deflection and Disruption:
Several studies over the last two decades have pointed out that technologies exist that may be capable of preventing a NEO impact, and that true preparedness may need to include the ability to deflect (turn away) or disrupt (break into small pieces) a NEO headed towards Earth. The NEO population is quite diverse, a fact which presents significant unknowns when considering how to develop technologies capable of deflecting or disrupting the object. Observations, including optical and planetary radar (when objects are accessible for observation), over many years may improve our understanding of the composition, mass, and behavior of any particular object (see Goal 1, above), which in turn could improve design of deflection technologies.
Disruption of the NEO may be required if there is little warning time or if the object is very large. Technologies to deflect the NEO away from Earth can be used, but to either disrupt or deflect a very large object, research and development of high-energy solutions is required.The following objectives would improve deflection and disruption capabilities:•Develop capabilities for fast-response focused reconnaissance and characterization.The objective of Goal 1 is to provide timely, high -certainty, actionable warning that a NEO threat exists, but because of the diversity of NEOs an effective deflection or disruption mission may need more detailed information on the specific threat. One candidate concept for this objective would be a capability to rapidly launch, intercept, and conduct reconnaissance on a NEO, to provide up-close imagery, composition , and mass measurements (e.g., passive (visible, thermal,multi/hyperspectral) and active (radar, LIDAR, etc.) imaging techniques) in order to determine ways to enhance the effectiveness of any subsequent deflection or disruption missions.• Research deflection and disruption capabilities for NEOs of varying size, mass, composition, and impact warning times.With enough warning time, a NEO impact can be prevented. To address most impact scenarios, prevention capabilities should include the ability to achieve timely effects and feedback, for example: to launch a deflector or disruptor that can rapidly reach the object; conduct rendezvous and proximity operations when needed; and deploy kinetic impactors or other technologies. Additionally, deploying an instrumented means to measure the deflection over time can provide assurance of mission success. Where practical, real world demonstrationof the deflection or disruption technique to test effectiveness and reduce uncertainties should be pursued, particularly when this can be done as a part of a mission to an asteroid or comet with broader science and exploration objectives. An assessment of the technical, policy, and legal issues with regard to delivering and triggering a high-energy device to deflect or disrupt NEO impact threat objects will be required.• Research technologies required for deflection and disruption concepts.Given the potential short time between first detection and potential NEO impact, precursor reconnaissance of the object may not be possible. To improve mission success, some key technologies to be developed include:o Rapid assessment capabilities for ground -based, orbital, and deep-space systems.o Fast orbit transfers to maximize momentum transfer for kinetic impactors or maximize distance from Earth at point of intercept for deflection missions. High-acceleration maneuvering, near the point of intercept, is critical for optimized intercept locations and course corrections immediately before intercept.o Algorithms and on-board artificial intelligence for short-notice disruption missions to self-assess the optimal time and location for interception or disruption. (Emphases added)