Coup for Delhi in Sino-Indian space race

Bloomberg'a unsubtle headline is "India Beats China to Mars Orbit at 11% Cost of US Probe." The Indian Space Research Organization's Mangalyaan, or "Mars craft," made orbit around the red planet at a cut-rate $74 million, and reached Mars two days after NASA's $671 million MAVEN craft. Bloomberg quotes a statement from Beijing's Foreign Ministry congratulating India on "landmark progress" that is the "pride of Asia." But your can feel the grudging nature of the obligatory compliment. The account aslo states: "The South Asian nation is trying to keep up with China, which plans to complete a manned space station by 2022." As for MAVEN, NPR informs us it stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, and is "about understanding the history of the climate on Mars." Posing it in such neutral and apolitical terms is patently dishonest and begs the question of toward what aim? Accounts don't note that Halliburton is drawing up plans for mining operations on Mars. (Yes, really.)

We have demonstrated again and again that space "exploration" is really about control of resources—and most frequently resources on Earth, not in the heavens, and the "science" is actually war propagandaIndia's space program must be seen in the context of the alarming India-China nuclear arms race that the world has paid all too little attention to amid all the histrionics about Iran and North Korea. China's space ambitions should similarly be seen in the context of the New Cold War between Beijing and Washington. And in a regional pathology, several other Asian nations feel they have to keep pace with the continental giants and are developing their own cases of missile envy. We continue to demand that all imperial powers, East or West, keep their hands off outer space!

  1. Nuke the comets!

    With all these mechanical interlopers in the Martian orbit we are now supposed to be outraged that a comet had the temerity to menace the Red Planet from a distance of a mere 87,000 miles (shudder!). (CNN, Oct. 19) So now the count-down begins… for all the hubristic space-geeks and nuke-boosters to exploit this non-incident to make the case for nuking the comets. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…

  2. Illegal aggression against Comet 67P

    NASA's planetary science head Jim Green is crowing shamelessly about the ESA's Rosetta probe landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: "The solar system is mankind's — this mission is the first step to take it. It's ours!" (CNET) Oh shut up, you sinister buffoon. AP meanwhile reports the probe has been "drilling into the rocky surface"—the first step towards corporate mineral exoploitation of the comets. Leave the damn comet alone! What RIGHT have you to drill there?!?! This is naked aggression! The good news is the damn little toy has gone to "sleep" because it is running out of power—and it is not recharging, because it shut off in the shadow of a "cliff" on the comet surface. So while the geeks wax confident that it will wake up any minute now, in fact it may be down for the count…

    1. Comet 67P safe from imperialist aggression… for now

      The space geeks were hoping we were no longer paying attention, but more than a month later, the Rosetta probe is still "asleep" in the shadow of a cliff on Comet 67P—"hibernating," in the words of Spaceflight Now. Let's hope the damn thing never wakes up, and that its loss makes Europe think twice before shelling out another obscene $270 million for such toys.

  3. Space geeks hype asteroid threat —again

    ABC News breathlessly informs is that Asteroid 2004 BL86 will this week pass within a mere 745,000 of Earth. The geeks at LabMate must ask: "What Would Happen if Asteroid 2004 BL86 Hit Earth?" They do not fail to hype the chance for "use of nuclear bombs in diverting or disintegrating the asteroid." Fortunately, 2004 BL86 isn't to swing 'round again for another 200 years, by which time we'll have wiped ourselves out with nuclear weapons if the geeks get their way.

  4. Asteroid threat: don’t believe the hype

    An illustration in how are being indoctrinated to fear asteroids is provided by this headline from the Daily Mail: A THREE MILE wide asteroid is set to graze past Earth on Sept. 1 – and NASA says it's the largest to come this close since they began keeping track." But the small text tells us:

    • NASA says asteroid that's 2.7 miles wide will make 'relatively close encounter'
    • Dubbed 'Florence,' the space rock will pass 4.4 million miles from our planet
    • This is the closest an object this large has come since NASA began NEO program
    • It hasn't come this close since 1890, and won't be this close again until 2,500

    OK, somebody doesn't know the meaning of the word "graze." 4.4 million miles is not a "graze" by any stretch of the imagination. And the fact that it isn't coming that close again until 2500 indicates that this is not a threat. Yet the headline is implicit propganda for nuking the asteroids. In other words, propaganda for the continued existence of nuclear weapons. And the existence of nuclear weapons makes it all too likely that we will wipe ourselves out well in advance of 2500. So out of wack.