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Master of Space: Corporate plans for the militarization & privatization of space

Feb 2, 2021 Sun, Jan 31, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Master of Space: Corporate plans for the militarization & privatization of space DESCRIPTION: Bruce Gagnon will reveal the deadly connections between the corporate drive to ‘control and dominate’ space as spelled out in the US Space Command’s 1997 planning document called Vision for 2020. https://thecommunity.com/wp-content/u…

The gold rush is now underway as space technologies have matured to the point where mining the sky for precious resources becomes possible. Corporate forces intend to use the newly formed ‘Space force’ to guard the front gate on and off Earth to ensure that only ‘authorized’ companies and nations would be allowed to access space.

This vision was first spelled out before Congress in the early 1950’s when former Nazi Maj. Gen. Walter Dornberger shared his vision of orbiting battle stations in space to control the pathway on and off our planet. Dornberger had been Hitler’s liaison to V-1 & V-2 rocket scientist Wernher von Braun during WW II. After the war Dornberger, Von Braun and more than 1,000 Nazi leaders were secretly brought to the US to serve in the military industrial complex. Van Braun built the US space program and Dornberger became a V-P of Bell Aerospace in New York. http://www.space4peace.org

BIO: Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator (and Co-Founder) of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He is a Vietnam war-era veteran and began his organizing work with the United Farm Workers Union. He lives in Bath, Maine.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties, space travel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Elon Musk’s expensive and dangerous space delusion

The Musk delusion  daryan energy blog 2 May 21, I’ve critiqued a number of Musk’s projects before, but I think we need to be a bit more direct. Quite simply is Musk entirely the full shilling? Is he the real life Tony Stark the fan boys seem to think, or a modern day Howard Hughes? Because if its the latter his bizarre behaviour will only get worse and worse until things come to a head. Which could have rather serious consequences………….

his proposed use of Starship, as a point to point transport mechanism amounts to saying that the rich should be allowed to burn vast amounts of fuel, just so they can save a few hours in transit. Well, if Starship was a vaguely sane suggestion that is. In truth, it would take almost as long to get its passengers point to point as a conventional airliner (once you factor in the time taken to get passengers out to the launch pad, suit them up, put on their astronaut diapers (yes, how do you think astronauts meet the calls of nature in a space suit), strap everyone in, fuel the rocket, etc.). And that’s assuming you’d be given permission to fly, given the many likely health and safety, environmental and noise related concerns.

In fact let’s talk about starship. It is a terrible design. I’m not going to waste time going over the many issues, in part because I’ve done so already, but also there are others who have done a far better job. But in summary, even if it worked, its a one trick pony….and that trick is the potential for down cargo (which its far from proving it can do) not going to Mars.

Even so, Musk has managed to blow up a dozen or so test prototypes with not a lot to show for it. He’s now in a dispute with the FAA and environmental groups over the mess he’s making, adding to the thousand or so active legal cases he’s currently fighting, largely because of his inability to keep his big mouth shut and not say dumb things online.

Which raises the question, what is the point of starship? ……..

Caricature above by courtesy of Ryadav – caricaturecartoon.com

 

NASA just awarded SpaceX the contract to build the Lunar lander? Ya and if one was cynical it would be that the Biden administration, whose never really committed to space flight, knows they don’t have the funds or the political capital to blow hundreds of billions repeating Apollo. But they equally don’t want to be identified as the assassins who killed off manned lunar/Mars missions. They need a fall guy…which is where Musk comes in!

SpaceX happens to have facilities in key states that will matter in 2024 (most notably Texas, which might be a swing state by then). So, given that Congress sees NASA as a jobs programme, they sling a few billion his way. If he succeeds, well then great. If he crashes and burns, well aw shucks we tried our best, I mean we even got Elon Musk to design the hardware, how can we be to blame.

And this is what worries me about Musk and his fans. Sooner or later his luck is going to run out. Environments such as space, or public transport do not suffer fools. Likely we’ll end up with some tragic accident, or a massive overspend on a government project and he gets to spend the rest of his life going form congressional committee to committee and court house to court house…….  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/543414/posts/3318253784

May 12, 2021 Posted by | election USA 2020, space travel | Leave a comment

Many space rockets planned, thousands of satellites, thousands of space debris -what could possibly go wrong?

To read the news, you’d think that only China was the naughty nation that had accidents in space. Indeed, it’s all written up to convey the message that USA space stuff is utterly safe.

Reminds me of when the nuclear lobby tried to put across the idea that the Fukushima disaster was proof of the safety of U.S. nuclear technology.

Wikileaks lists spaceflight accidents and incidents.

Thousands of satellites in orbit (not all functioning) There are at least 6,900 satellites now in orbit around Earth, with 4000 still functioning.

Space debris

Number of debris objects regularly tracked by Space Surveillance Networks and maintained in their catalogue – About 28160 .

Estimated number of break-ups, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events resulting in fragmentation -More than 560

Total mass of all space objects in Earth orbitMore than 9300 tonnes.

NASA slams rocket risk, The Age, print version 10 May 2021,   Remnants  of China’s biggest rocket have landed in the Indian Ocean,with the bulk of its components destroyed on re-entry into the atmosphere according to Chinese state media., fencing days of speculation over where the debris would hit….

The coordinates given by the media yesterday,  citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, put the point of impact west of the Maldives archipelago.The Long March launched last week was the second deployment of the 5B variant since its maiden flight in May 2020 last year pieces from the first Long March 5B fell on Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings. No injuries were reported.

During the rocket’s flight, Harvard based astrophysicist Jonathon McDowellsaid the debris zone could have been as far north as New York, Madrid or Beijing, and as far south as southern Chile and New Zealand.

*************************************

 large chunks of the NASA space station Skylab fell from orbit in July 1979 and landed in Australia

May 10, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Christina's notes, space travel | Leave a comment

20 tonne space rocket out of control, but luckily landed in the Indian Ocean, rather than on land.

Out-of-control Chinese rocket finally lands in Indian Ocean near the Maldives, https://www.9news.com.au/world/chinese-rocket-expected-to-crash-into-earth-this-weekend/4b39859c-cfc4-4f3c-b9e2-f294e1bb65f4 By CNNJoe Attanasio May 9, 2021  A large Chinese rocket that was orbiting earth out of control has finally made impact, landing in the Indian Ocean close to the Maldives and drawing sharp criticism from NASA.

According to China Manned Space Engineering Office, the rocket made impact about 12.24pm AEST, roughly two hours earlier than predicted.Most of the remnants of the vessel burned up during re-entry to earth’s atmosphere, officials said, putting to bed week-long fears over the potential damage the rocket could have caused if it struck land.What was left of the spacecraft landed at open sea, at 72.47 degrees east longitude and 2.65 degrees north latitude.The Long March 5B rocket, which was around 30 metres tall and weighed 20 tonnes, entered earth’s low orbit earlier this morning.

It travelled at more than 30,000 kilometres an hour, was more than 10 stories tall, and weighed roughly the same as a full garbage truck, causing many to raise concerns about the impact its landing could have hadThe rocket launched a piece of the new Chinese space station into orbit on April 29 but then was left to hurtle through space uncontrolled until Earth’s gravity began pulling it back to the ground.
That approach is a break with what officials call “best practice” compared with what other space agencies do.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson criticised China over the re-entry, saying spacefaring nations needed to minimise risk and maximise transparency in such situations.”It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris,” he said, in a statement.”It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities.”Despite recent efforts to better regulate and mitigate space debris, Earth’s orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of pieces of uncontrolled junk, most of which are smaller than 10 centimetres.Objects are constantly falling out of orbit, though most of them burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere before they have a chance to make an impact on the surface.

May 10, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, space travel | Leave a comment

The purpose of USA space research is clearly military – they don’t even pretend any more.

US Nuclear Marks Beginning of Age of Space Mining as It Signs Historic Trade Agreement, US Nuclear Corp, April 28, 2021,

Source: US Nuclear Corp.  Los Angeles, CA, April 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — On April 15, 2021, US Nuclear Corp. (OTCQB: UCLE) signed a historic trade agreement with Solar System Resources Corporation that marked the beginning of the age of space trade and mining.  The new agreement sets preliminary prices for the high value materials to be extracted.  It also establishes and expands our cislunar and solar system value chain and adds SatRevolution as a new partner.  The agreement is a continuation of the Letter of Intent signed on February 5, 2021, and outlines how US Nuclear and Solar Systems Resources Corp. plan to cooperate building a value chain starting with mining and selling valuable helium-3 and lanthanide metals and other materials from space deposits.

Solar Systems Resources Corporation Sp. z o. o. is a space mining company that conducts localization, in-situ verification, and mining of space resources.  A third strategic partner, SatRevolution S.A., a leading provider of nanosatellites, is also participating in construction of the value chain mentioned in the agreement.  The deal, if completed in full, could be worth many hundreds of billions of dollars and will pave the way to a new frontier mining resources in space.    

The agreement is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, and highlights include:

……….. The parties will endeavor to support the US (and allies), NATO military, and the development of the operational capabilities of the US Space Force……  https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/04/28/2218641/0/en/US-Nuclear-Marks-Beginning-of-Age-of-Space-Mining-as-It-Signs-Historic-Trade-Agreement.html

April 29, 2021 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Be aware – Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) for space rockets has everything to do with the mkilitary, and funding for weapons makers

US Military Seeks Nuclear Space Flight Test by 2025, VOA 26 Apr 21,

The U.S. military has chosen three companies to develop nuclear thermal propulsion, or NTP systems to be tested in space by 2025. The goal is to test the space travel technology in cislunar space – the area between Earth and the moon.

What is NTP?  What is NTP?

The U.S. Department of Energy describes on its website how an NTP system works. It needs a radioactive material such as uranium and another element, such as hydrogen, in liquid form. The liquid propellant is pumped through a reactor core. This causes uranium atoms to break apart inside the core and release heat. The heat turns the propellant into gas, which expands through an opening to produce thrust.

The contracts to produce a flight demonstration of NTP technology were awarded by the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. The winning contractors were General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin. DARPA did not announce how much the contracts were worth.

In a recent announcement about the project, DARPA said the area of space, or “space domain,” will be very important to business, scientific discovery and national defense. Establishing “space domain awareness in cislunar space…will require a leap-ahead in propulsion technology,” the agency said……..

NTP and NASA

The U.S. space agency NASA has long been interested in nuclear propulsion systems to power its spacecraft of the future. But the technology has not yet been demonstrated…….. https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/us-military-seeks-nuclear-space-flight-test-by-2025/5864011.html

April 27, 2021 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear rocket plan, and the Nazi history behind it.


The US plans to put a nuclear-powered rocket in orbit by 2025,  David Hambling.. (subscribers only)
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2274199-the-us-plans-to-put-a-nuclear-powered-rocket-in-orbit-by-2025/#ixzz6rrl4rEGB

April 13, 2021 Posted by | Reference, space travel, USA, weapons and war, YouTube | Leave a comment

Nuclear space craft very clearly is part of nuclear weapons programme

DARPA awards nuclear spacecraft contracts to Lockheed Martin, Bezos’ Blue Origin and General Atomics
PUBLISHED MON, APR 12 2021 HTTPS://WWW.CNBC.COM/2021/04/12/DARPA-NUCLEAR-SPACECRAFT-LOCKHEED-BEZOS-BLUE-ORIGIN-GENERAL-ATOMICS.HTML

The Pentagon’s DARPA awarded contracts to General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin under the agency’s DRACO (Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations) program.

The Pentagon’s research and development arm on Monday awarded a trio of companies with contracts to build and demonstrate a nuclear-based propulsion system on a spacecraft in orbit by 2025.

General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA awards, under the agency’s Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations program or DRACO.

The goal of the program is deceptively simple: Use a nuclear thermal propulsion system to power a spacecraft beyond low Earth orbit.

April 13, 2021 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Space radiation – harmful to astronauts, not only with cancers, but also with heart and blood vessel effects

From Vitamin C to Spinach: Researching Ways to Protect Astronaut Cardiovascular Health From Space Radiation.   Review explores ways that space radiation can damage cardiovascular health, and discusses how we can protect astronauts, from vitamin C to spinach. SciTech Daily 14 Mar 21, Space: the final frontier. What’s stopping us from exploring it? Well, lots of things, but one of the major issues is space radiation, and the effects it can have on astronaut health during long voyages. A new review in the open-access journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine explores what we know about the ways that space radiation can negatively affect cardiovascular health, and discusses methods to protect astronauts. These include radioprotective drugs, and antioxidant treatments, some of which are more common than you might think.

Space is incredibly inhospitable. Outside of low earth orbit, astronauts are bombarded with radiation, including galactic cosmic rays, and ‘proton storms’ released by the sun. This radiation is harmful for the human body, damaging proteins and DNA, and is one of the major reasons that we haven’t yet been able to send anyone to Mars, or beyond.

These issues inspired Dr Jesper Hjortnaes of the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands to investigate what we know about the harmful effects of space radiation. “If we want to see human long distance space travel, we need to understand the impact of space-induced disease and how to protect our bodies from it,” said Hjortnaes. However, Hjortnaes has an interest in a specific aspect of space radiation: its cardiovascular effects.

You may be surprised to learn that aside from the illnesses we typically associate with radiation, such as cancer, it can also have serious effects on the cardiovascular system. Suffering from cardiovascular illness would be catastrophic for crew members on long-haul space missions, and so it’s important to identify what the risks are, and how to reduce them.

Hjortnaes and colleagues reviewed the evidence to establish what we know about the cardiovascular risks of space radiation. Much of what we know comes from studying people who have received radiation therapy for cancer, where cardiovascular disease is a common side-effect, or from mouse studies of radiation exposure.

So, what are the effects? Radiation can cause myocardial remodeling, where the structure of the heart begins to change, and tough, fibrous tissue grows to replace healthy muscle, potentially leading to heart failure. Other effects include atherosclerosis in blood vessels, which can cause stroke or heart attack. Radiation exerts its effects by causing inflammation, oxidative stress, cell death and DNA damage.

Researchers have also investigated potential ways to protect astronauts. These include drugs that an astronaut could take to protect themselves from space radiation, and antioxidants. Interestingly, an antioxidant diet, including dairy products, green vegetables such as spinach, and antioxidant supplements such as vitamin C, has potential in protecting astronauts from the damaging reactive oxygen molecules produced during radiation exposure.

Overall, the review revealed that so far, research has only scratched the surface of space radiation and the best methods to protect astronauts from it. There is little conclusive evidence of radiation-induced cardiovascular disease in astronauts themselves, as so few of them have ever gone further than low earth orbit, and mouse studies aren’t an exact match for humans……..https://scitechdaily.com/from-vitamin-c-to-spinach-researching-ways-to-protect-astronaut-cardiovascular-health-from-space-radiation/

March 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, radiation, space travel | Leave a comment

The growing threat of space debris

March 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, space travel | Leave a comment

New Zealand groups oppose launch of U.S. military nuclear satellite

a security expert has suggested it puts New Zealand into “the kill chain” and makes New Zealand a military target. 

March 9, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, politics international, Reference, space travel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The radiation danger to astronauts- cancer, heart disease -an ethical problem

“These are all crucial studies to be conducted in order to really understand the risks we’re exposing astronauts to,” says Meerman. “Therefore, we believe we are not there yet and we should debate whether it is safe to expand human space travel significantly

March 9, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, Religion and ethics, space travel | Leave a comment

The media revels in rockets to Mars, ignores the horrible risk of plutonium pollution

Plutonium, Perseverance and the Spellbound Press https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/2/24/2017916/-Plutonium-Perseverance-and-the-Spellbound-Press, Karl Grossman 

            With all the media hoopla last week about the Perseverance rover, frequently unreported was that its energy source is plutonium—considered the most lethal of all radioactive substances—and nowhere in media that NASA projected 1-in-960 odds of the plutonium being released in an accident on the mission.

“A ‘1-in-960 chance’ of a deadly plutonium release is a real concern—gamblers in Las Vegas would be happy with those odds,” says Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Indeed, big-money lotteries have odds far higher than 1-in-960 and routinely people win those lotteries.

Further, NASA’s Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the $3.7 billion mission acknowledges that an “alternative” power source for Perseverance could have been solar energy. Solar energy using photovoltaic panels has been the power source for a succession of Mars rovers.

For an accident releasing plutonium on the Perseverance launch—and 1 in 100 rockets undergo major malfunctions on launch mostly by blowing up—NASA in its SEIS described these impacts for the area around the Cape Kennedy under a heading “Impacts of Radiological Releases on the Environment.” Continue reading

February 25, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD, space travel | Leave a comment

‘Medical Scientific’ committee, stacked with nuclear executives, promotes nuclear power in space

“The nuclear industry views space as a new—and wide-open—market for their toxic product that has run its dirty course on Mother Earth.”

“Now it appears that the nuclear industry has also infiltrated the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that has been studying missions to Mars. ”

It’s going to take enormous grassroots action—and efforts by those in public office who understand the error of the space direction being taken—to stop it.

Nuclear Rockets to Mars?, BY KARL GROSSMAN– CounterPunch, 16 Feb 21,

A report advocating rocket propulsion by nuclear power for U.S. missions to Mars, written by a committee packed with individuals deeply involved in nuclear power, was issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The 104-page report also lays out “synergies” in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958.

The report states: “Space nuclear propulsion and power systems have the potential to provide the United States with military advantages…NASA could benefit programmatically by working with a DoD [Department of Defense] program having national security objectives.”’

The report was produced “by contract” with NASA, it states.

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) describes itself as having been “created to advise the nation” with “independent, objective advice to inform policy.”

The 11 members of the committee that put together the report for the National Academy includes: Jonathan W. Cirtain, president of Advanced Technologies, “a subsidiary of BWX Technologies which is the sole manufacturer of nuclear reactors for the U.S. Navy,” the report states; Roger M. Myers, owner of R. Myers Consulting and who previously at Aerojet Rocketdyne “oversaw programs and strategic planning for next-generation in-space missions [that] included nuclear thermal propulsion and nuclear electric power systems; Shannon M. Bragg-Sitton, the “lead for integrated energy systems in the Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate at the Idaho National Laboratory:” Tabitha Dodson, who at the U.S. government’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency is chief engineer of a program “that is developing a nuclear thermal propulsion system;” Joseph A. Sholtis, Jr., “owner and principal of Sholtis Engineering & Safety Consulting, providing expert nuclear, aerospace, and systems engineering services to government, national laboratories, industry, and academia since 1993.” And so on.

The NAS report is titled: “Space Nuclear Propulsion for Human Mars Exploration.” It is not classified and is available here.

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, from its offices in Maine in the U.S., declared: “The nuclear industry views space as a new—and wide-open—market for their toxic product that has run its dirty course on Mother Earth.”

“During our campaigns in 1989, 1990, and 1997 to stop NASA’s Galileo, Ulysses and Cassini plutonium-fueled space probe launches, we learned that the nuclear industry positioned its agents inside NASA committees that made the decisions on what kinds of power sources would be placed on those deep space missions,” said Gagnon. “Now it appears that the nuclear industry has also infiltrated the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that has been studying missions to Mars.  The recommendation, not any surprise, is that nuclear reactors are the best way to power a Mars mission.”

“It’s not the best for us Earthlings because the Department of Energy has a bad track record of human and environmental contamination as they fabricate nuclear devices. An accident at launch could have catastrophic consequences.”

Stated Gagnon: “We fought the DoE and NASA on those previous nuclear launches and are entering the battle again. The nuclear industry has its sights set on nuclear-powered mining colonies on an assortment of planetary bodies—all necessitating legions of nuclear devices being produced at DoE and then launched on rockets that blow up from time to time.”

“We urge the public to help us pressure NASA and DoE to say no to nukes in space. We’ve got to protect life here on this planet. We are in the middle of a pandemic and people have lost jobs, homes, health care and even food on their table.”

“Trips to Mars can wait,” said Gagnon.

There have been accidents in the history of the U.S.—and also the former Soviet Union and now Russia—using nuclear power in space……

(Article goes on to explain how solar power can be, and is being used for space travel and research)

The NAS committee, however, was mainly interested in a choice between a “nuclear thermal propulsion” (NTP) or “nuclear electric propulsion” (NEP) for rocket propulsion…….

“Advanced nuclear propulsion systems (along or in combination with chemical propulsion systems) have the potential to substantially reduce trip time” to Mars “compared to fully non-nuclear approaches,” says the report.

An issue: radioactivity from either of the systems affecting human beings on the rockets with nuclear reactors propelling them. Back after World War II with the Cold War beginning, the U.S. began working on bombers propelled by onboard nuclear reactors—even built one. The idea was that such bombers could stay aloft for days ready to drop nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union. No crews would need to be scrambled and bombers then sent aloft.

But, as The Atlantic magazine noted in a 2019 article titled, “Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes”:

“The problem of shielding pilots from the reactor’s radiation proved even more difficult. What good would a plane be that killed its own pilots? To protect the crew from radioactivity, the reactor needed thick and heavy layers of shielding. But to take off, the plane needed to be as light as possible. Adequate shielding seemed incompatible with flight. Still, engineers theorized that the weight saved from needing no fuel might be enough to offset the reactor and its shielding. The United States spent 16 years tinkering with the idea, to no avail”

The Eisenhower administration concluded that the program was unnecessary, dangerous, and too expensive. On March 28, 1961, the newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy canceled the program. Proposals for nuclear-powered airplanes have popped up since then, but the fear of radiation and the lack of funding have kept all such ideas down.”……

The “synergies” in space nuclear activities between NASA and the U.S. military advanced in the NAS report mark a change in public acknowledgement. The agency was supposed to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science.

However, throughout the decades there have been numerous reports on its close relationship with the U.S. military—notably during the period of NASA Space Shuttle flights. As a 2018 piece in Smithsonian Magazine noted, “During the heyday of the space shuttle, NASA would routinely ferry classified payloads into orbit for the Department of Deense among other projects the agencies have collaborated on.”

With the formation of a U.S. Space Force by the Trump administration in 2019, the NASA-Pentagon link would appear to be coming out of the shadows, as indicated by the NAS report. The Biden administration is not intending to eliminate the Space Force, despite the landmark Outer Space Treaty of 1967 put together by the U.S., the then Soviet Union and the U.K, setting aside space for peaceful purposes. It is giving the new sixth branch of U.S. armed forces “full support,” according to his spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The NAS report says, “Areas of common interest include (1) fundamental questions about the development and testing of materials (such as reactor fuels and moderators) that can survive NTP conditions and (2) advancing modeling and simulation capabilities that are relevant to NTP.” And, “Additionally, a NASA NTP system could potentially use a scaled-up version of a DoD reactor, depending on the design.”

It declares: “Threats to U.S. space assets are increasing. They include anti-satellite weapons and counter-space activities. Crossing vast distances of space rapidly with a reasonably sized vehicle in response to these threats requires a propulsion system with high Isp [Specific Impulse] and thrust. This could be especially important in a high-tempo military conflict.”

Moreover, on December 19, just before he was to leave office, Trump signed Space Policy Directive-6, titled “National Strategy for Space Nuclear Propulsion.” Its provisions include: “DoD [Department of Defense] and NASA, in cooperation with DOE [Department of Energy}, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should evaluate technology options and associated key technical challenges for an NTP [Nuclear Thermal Propulsion] system, including reactor designs, power conversion, and thermal management. DoD and NASA should work with their partners to evaluate and use opportunities for commonality with other SNPP [Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion] needs, terrestrial power needs, and reactor demonstration projects planned by agencies and the private sector.”

It continues: “DoD, in coordination with DOE and other agencies, and with private sector partners, as appropriate, should develop reactor and propulsion system technologies that will resolve the key technical challenges in areas such as reactor design and production, propulsion system and spacecraft design, and SNPP system integration.”

It’s going to take enormous grassroots action—and efforts by those in public office who understand the error of the space direction being taken—to stop it.

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, and is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet, and the Beyond Nuclear handbook, The U.S. Space Force and the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear war in space. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. more https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/02/16/nuclear-rockets-to-mars/

February 18, 2021 Posted by | investigative journalism, politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, space travel, USA | Leave a comment

Solar sails for space voyages

Nuclear Rockets to Mars?, BY KARL GROSSMAN– CounterPunch, 16 Feb 21,”………. As for rocket propulsion in the vacuum of space, it doesn’t take much conventional chemical propulsion to move a spacecraft—and fast.

And there was a comprehensive story in New Scientist magazine this past October on “The new age of sail,” as it was headlined. The subhead: “We are on the cusp of a new type of space travel that can take us to places no rocket could ever visit.”

The article began by relating 17th Century astronomer Johanne Kepler observing comets and seeing “that their tails always pointed away from the sun, no matter which direction they were traveling. To Kepler, it meant only one thing: the comet tails were being blown from the sun.”

Indeed, “the sun produces a wind in space” and “it can be harnessed,” said the piece. “First, there are particles of light streaming from the sun constantly, each carrying a tiny bit of momentum. Second, there is a flow of charged particles, mostly protons and electrons, also moving outwards from the sun. We call the charged particles the solar wind, but both streams are blowing a gale”—that’s in the vacuum of space.

Japan launched its Ikaros spacecraft in 2010—sailing in space using the energy from the sun. The LightSail 2 mission of The Planetary Society was launched in 2019—and it’s still up in space, flying with the sun’s energy.

New systems using solar power are being developed – past the current use of thin-film such as Mylar for solar sails.

The New Scientist article spoke of scientists “who want to use these new techniques to set a course for worlds currently far beyond our reach—namely the planets orbiting our nearest star, Alpha Centauri.”……. more https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/02/16/nuclear-rockets-to-mars/

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Reference, renewable, space travel | Leave a comment