TRUMP, PENCE, BUZZ, AND MARSApril 1, 2017
You'll recall that yesterday I blogged about an anti-aging drug now being readied for human trials, and NASA's interest in it. The drug worked by triggering genetic markers that accelerate cellular repair, a handy thing to have around if one is planning long space voyages with the prolonged exposure to solar radiation.There was a little method to my madness, for it is now official: President Trump has signed a law calling for manned missions to Mars to be the chief goal of NASA for the next decade, and, believe it or not, it passed both houses of Congress unanimously, according to this article shared by Ms. B.Z. from the United Kingdom's Daily Mail: We're off to Mars says Trump as he signs a law for NASA to have manned missions to the red planet by the 2030s. Now, we've seen similar objectives concerning Mars being made all the way back in the administration of GHW Bush, who directed NASA to make Mars manned missions the goal. President Bill Clinton repeated this during his tenure in the White House, it was reiterated yet again during the administration of GW Bush and subsequently of President Obama. In short, Mars has been on the presidential wish list for quite a while, and yet, nothing by way of manned space flights seem to be accomplished: America has no operational heavy booster, and has to hitch-hike on Russia's Energia boosters (doubtless another evil plot by the criminal mastermind and super-genius Vladimir Putin to cripple the American space program). What appears to be different in this case it that it is an actual law:
NASA 'shall continue the development of the fully integrated Space Launch System, including an upper stage needed to go beyond low-Earth orbit, in order to safely enable human space exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond over the course of the next century,' said the text.
This law reaffirms 'our national commitment to the core mission of NASA,'Trump said, signing the text in the presence of numerous elected officials including former Republican rivals, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
But I cannot help but wonder if there is a much wider story behind all this. Recall that during his administration, President Clinton made a formal announcement from the White House that a meteorite from Mars contained clear indications of microbial life. Incidentally, the meteorite was found in...
(drum roll please)
...Antarctica. (See President Clinton Statment Regarding Mars Meteorite Discovery)
Then, Mr. B sent the following article, which appeared just a few days before the signing of this law; Vice-President Pence, it seems, had a little "Chat" with former Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin:
Aldrin, one should remember, has been urging manned missions to return to the Moon for some time, and more importantly, manned missions to Mars, in particular to explore the Martian moon Phobos. But in the article above, mention is made of reviving the National Space Council:
Pence is widely expected in the space community to take a leading role in the development of the Trump administration's space policy. Statements of the Trump campaign's proposed policy made prior to the November election said that the administration would reestablish the National Space Council, which last operated when George H. W. Bush was president. At that time, and in earlier administrations, the council was led by the vice president. "He is excited about doing the space council," Robert Walker, the former chairman of the House Science Committee who crafted that campaign position, said of Pence in a December interview. "He has expressed absolute excitement about that particular role. I think that will be a place where he will find time for it."
That council was, of course, under then vice-president Lyndon Johnson, one of the major driving forces behind the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo era of NASA's "golden age" of manned space flight. Notably, however, the article is rather tight-lipped about what Aldrin and the Vice President talked about, though clearly it was about space policy. Then, days later, the law about Mars...All of this, you might imagine, has my high octane speculative motor working in over-drive, for Aldrin's visit with Pence follows, of course, his little junket to Antarctica, which followed former Secretary of State John Kerry's visit, who in turn followed the Patriarch of Moscow. So what's my high octane speculation here? Well, as I originally thought, and still do, they found something down there, and it may not have been just another meteorite from Mars containing fossilized microbial life. It may have been a meteorite containing or preserving something else entirely, say, something clearly artificial and the product of a technology. Whatever it was, it was something that raised the "urgency meter" into the red zone, requiring many "visitors" to go down and have a"look for themselves", and to urge the President, not simply to issue executive orders or statements about NASA priorities, as was done from GHW Bush to Barack Obama, but rather, to pass a law, one that, again, gained unanimous support in Congress. In short, this law and this event I am viewing as directly related to whatever it is going on in Antarctica.To my mind, folks, that means something is definitely up down there, and up there on the red planet. Oh yea, and while you're doing all this speculative calculus about what's possibly going on, don't forget that Lockheed-Martin is also in Antarctica...See you on the flip side...',