Monday, December 04, 2006

Bush in Space, part 2.

A couple of weeks ago I posted this: Bush in Space. Now I come back with a few nice articles that show what the future of space is likely to be. Or not to be.

First of all, a news article from May 2006 US seeks laser to shoot down satellites talks about a "secret" U.S. project that uses lasers to shoot down "enemy" satellites. Considering the ability of most nations to put satellites in orbit, I can only conclude that they mean Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Russian or European satellites. Probably, the Chinese thought the same thing, and here is where this article: China Attempted To Blind U.S. Satellites With Laser comes in. It talks about the Chinese trying to shoot down (or at least blind them considerably) U.S. satellites spying on them. This story was "dug" here. You can see in the article that the US already plan for a "constellation" of satellites to replace the vulnerable spy satallites they already have in place.

Now, most comments on this are usually either moronically nationalistic, either uselessly anti-American. However, there are people that have actually put thought into this. How come the US is augmenting this "Cold War" with China, when they have such a lucrative economic bond. Is it because they see a more business oriented (read democratic) China as a more maleable one? A good consumer market just ripe for the US culture? Or is it because they actually fear a democratic China, as a very serious competitor. Most analysts observe that placing and defending stuff in space is way harder than destroying stuff in space. Even lasers work in space, but low tech solutions like plain old rubble would work just as well. This is described as asymmetric warfare. When even the little guy can fight back.

But what does all this mean? The US have all but openly dismissed the ISS. The only science projects that they do on the station are related to the human habitation of space, which leads me to believe they either plan on colonising the Moon or even Mars (a man can hope) or they just don't care about space any more than their precious spy satellites. How does the entire "teritory" concept work in space? How can you attack in space and not get into a ground war at the same time? These are questions about things one might think do not affect us, but they do. From weather to global positioning, from TV to the Internetand the telephone, they all come through space. You have to imagine a world where space wars are common and plan ahead against it. We cannot color the sky, we can't afford to.