Tuesday 17th of July 2018

SPACE-TIME POLITICS

 

Space shuttle Discovery is due to dock with the ISS... [2005]
while snails are returning to Earth at great speed... on a Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russia’s Salizhan Sharipov, US astronaut Leroy Chiao, and Italy’s Robert Vittori...
Strange... I thought (or was it in a dream?) a few days ago about studying snails, but in space? Hey, why not and see which way they curl up or get their foot in a knot while frothing at the mouth...?
This brings me to another one of chapters in modern human history that are very important to me...
These events represent the underlying way we, the general public, live happy as Larry under our beautiful skies, while we have no clue what is happening deep in the corridors of powers, or up there in the battles of space wars, with umbrellas of threats and counterthreats, of deep analysis of these threats and these counter threats, of governmental desires of supremacy and controls...
History provides the trends on which we are moving towards... but we need to know what is on the table... as well as what’s hidden under it.
Humanity on earth is like the magic colours of a soap bubble but like it... it is so fragile...
Unfortunately, we “vote” and live in democracies that cannot afford too many people asking the right questions... or know too much...

THE VAN ALLEN BELTS
I’d like thus to not so much expose, as it is somewhat known, but I’d like to remind those who know and tell those who don’t know, especially our young people about a sorry series of events that happened during the 50s and 60s... and still have massive repercussion today. See in many areas of governmental development, planning often starts 30 years before any headway is achieved in the desired direction. Thus R&D (Research and Development) burns an enormous amount of dollar before bringing returns and all this money comes from our pocket or our kids’ future earning, that we’re spending NOW...
I am referring here to the Van Allen Belts saga... and the nuclear age and tests that followed from that first explosion in the Nevada desert.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are well known, the French atomic tests in Tahiti are well known, the English tests in this country (Australia) are also well studied but some tests never made it to the front page of the rags of the day.
Even on that first Nevada test, the father of the “bomb”, Robert Oppenheimer was slightly worried the chain reaction would not stop once the nuclear fuel was “spent”although he was 99 per cent sure it would... The calculations proved right otherwise the earth would have become an extra “sun” in our solar system...
A friend of mine asked me about Aurora Borealis a few days ago and I nearly cried... I remembered these many misdemeanours we were doing (and those we are still doing) to our little planet...

What are the Van Allen Belts indeed?
In simple broad terms, it’s a conglomeration of charged particles at about 1000 km above the earth surface (lower in some parts) that are trapped by the earth magnetism and stirred up by solar winds which they deflect... A division occurs between night and day... and since the belts do not exist in the polar regions we get the fantastic glow of the upper layers of the atmosphere being exposed directly to solar winds...
The Van Allen Belts also act as a reflector of radio waves for certain frequencies, mostly in the short band width. It’s not “designed” as such but it’s a very useful natural property and many “Ham” radio operator would know that it works best, if only, during night time...
In the wisdom and madness of the space age race and nuclear supremacy, the USA and the USSR did nuclear tests up there, in mid last century just “to see what would happen...” . In fact it was part of impact studies a nuclear explosion would have on not yet-developed satellites, in the future... as well as other secret agenda, like domination in  space...

Summary notes from the US tests follow thus (similar tests and results from the USSR):
_________________
from astronautix.com
Family: Status USAF X-17
Country: USA.
Sounding Rockets flight test program at Cape Canaveral studied reentry problems by
simulating reentry velocities and conditions with a three-stage solid-fuel Lockheed X-17.
A total of 26 X-17 flights were conducted until March 1957.
1958 Aug 27 -Launch Site USS Norton Sound Launch Complex

Argus 1
The Argus series were the only clandestine nuclear ever conducted by the United States.The rocket-launched nuclear warheads were set off at very high altitudes over the South Atlantic,1800 km south-west of Capetown,South Africa. The purpose was to determine the effects of nuclear tests explosions on the Earth’s
magnetic field and the impact to military radar, communications, satellites and ballistic missiles electronics. The earth’s magnetic field is not only off-axis from the earth,but also off centre from the earth’s core. This means the Van Allen Radiation belts are closest to the earth in the region known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly’.
This made the selected launch point the ideal place for launching a rocket into the lower belt where the particles and radiation from the explosion would be trapped.

Van Allen Radiation belts
The 1.7 kiloton W-25 warhead used had been developed and previously tested for the Genie air-to-air missile.The first test was launched from 38.5 deg S,11.5 deg.W, and exploded at an altitude of 160 km. The initial flash was followed by an auroral luminescence extending upward and downward along the magnetic lines where the burst occurred.The experiment verified the predictions made in the original October 1957 proposal by N.C.Christofilos of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore*.

1958 Aug 30 — Launch Site USS Norton Sound Launch Complex — Argus 2
Second covert Argus launch to study effect of nuclear explosions on the Van Allen radiation belts
The launch location was 49.5 deg South, 8.2 deg West; altitude reached 294 km; yield of the nuclear warhead, 1.7 kilotons.

1958 Sep 6 — Launch Site USS Norton Sound Launch Complex — Argus 3
Third and final covert Argus launch to study effect of nuclear explosions on the Van
Allen radiation belts. The launch location was 48.5 deg South,9.7 deg West ;altitude
reached 750 km; yield of the nuclear warhead,1.7 kilotons.
1959 - Deputy Secretary of Defense Quarles announced that three blasts were secretly
fired in space (Project Argus) in 1958, using modified X-17 rockets.

_______________________
Gus: I can say here that although there was “minimal” damage to the Belts, one cannot but measure the long term effect of such explosions... The US repeated similar series of tests in 1962... The Russians also conducted similar tests...

The following article from the:
“© British Crown Copyright 2004/MoD. Published with the permission of the controller
of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office”
could be bogus but I don’t think so... here it is anyway...
____________________________
Modelling Artificial Van Allen Radiation Belts
Computational Physics Group, Design Physics Department, AWE Aldermaston, Reading,
Berkshire,
RG7 4PR.
Atmospheric detonation of nuclear weapons leaves many nuclides (the weapon debris) in states which decay by emission of -particles and -rays in the MeV energy range. These radionuclides typically decay along a chain of daughter species over a considerable period of time, and so the -particles and -rays are classed as “delayed” radiation.
Delayed radiation resulting from a nuclear burst in the upper atmosphere can pose a serious threat to space-based systems, especially satellites.
Unprotected satellites may be damaged by the impact of energetic -rays, for example, or by the accumulation of charge due to sweeping up both -particles and the electrons that they produce in atmospheric ionisation events.
Modern electronic components can be particularly sensitive, but may be “hardened” in critical systems if deemed necessary. Determination of the -particle flux produced by high altitude detonations is therefore important to satellite design.
A particular problem is the long term persistence of the flux due to charged particle trapping by the geomagnetic field producing artificial radiation belts.
AWE has established a model for calculating the hostile environments presented by geomagnetically
trapped -particles following a high altitude nuclear burst.
In order to build a model of nuclear-induced radiation belts, kinetic theory is used to find the characteristics of the bounce motion back and forth along the field lines and the Eastward (and curvature) drift motion which the
-[negative] particles undergo.
A model for the atmospheric detrapping of -particles is also required. Non-collisional particle diffusion mechanisms can destabilise radiation belt particles in the long term; the experimental results from high altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s cannot be reproduced unless non-collisional effects, such as interactions with electromagnetic waves, are assumed either to move the s across field lines (“L-shells”) or to alter the
altitude at which the particles reflect.
A model, “AIRTIGHT” (Artificially Injected Radiation Trapped In the Geo-H-field Toolkit), has been developed to track motion in reflection point altitude, longitude, energy and L-shell phase space using a simple dipole approximation to the geomagnetic field.

A Monte Carlo approach* is taken, where non-interacting particles are generated from realistic debris distributions. The flux is calculated from these data by use of the analytically determined bounce periods of the particles. Determination of the altitude of the mirror point for each particle becomes an issue, and the atmospheric effect on the pitch angle of the particles has been included. Some sample output from the AIRTIGHT model will be presented, and some broad conclusions on satellite vulnerability drawn.
© British Crown Copyright 2004/MoD. Published with the permission of the controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

_________________
This third article extracted from a feasibility study of the international Space Treaty till 2015...
_________________________
...... HAND* [ High Altitude Nuclear Detonations] can destroy or disrupt LEO [Low Earth Orbit] satellites in two primary ways. First, prompt X-rays can upset or burnout the electronics for the five to ten percent of each LEO constellation within line of sight of the explosion.

212 Second, in weeks to months, potentially all non-hardened LEO satellites can fail due to the cumulative effects of phenomena such as transient-radiation effects on electronics (TREE) and system generated electromagnetic pulse (SGEMP) as the satellites operate in the greatly increased radiation belts the explosions
cause in LEO orbits.

213 One of the largest problems, however, in assessing the specific level of threat posed by HAND is a lack of experimental data on the effects of HAND on satellites (especially on modern satellite systems) and this contributes to a range of assessments concerning the severity of the threat.

214 The United States conducted two high-altitude nuclear test series before such testing was banned by the LTBT; the tests were conducted in August and September of 1958 and again during the Summer and Fall of 1962.

215 The ARGUS series was designed to test and did confirm the theory of Nicholas Christofilos of the University of California’s Radiation Laboratory that the high-energy electrons produced in a high-altitude explosion would become trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field.

216 As predicted, these trapped particles do “pump” up the radiation belts through which LEO satellites [Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites] pass during each orbit and slowly build a potentially fatal radiation dose for the satellite’s electronics. The good news is that satellites can be hardened against nuclear effects including TREE and SGEMP. According to the HALEOS* study: “sufficient hardening to survive HAND [High Altitude Nuclear Detonations (HAND)] a very short-term-induced total radiation dose could add 2-3 percent to satellite costs beyond what is required to harden against the natural environment.”

217 What are the best technical and political options for the United States to mitigate the risks associated with HAND? Watts is surely correct is his assessment that “for the next 15-20 years, the most sensible stratagem for
preventing an exo-atmospheric nuclear detonation is a combination of deterrence and
hardening the satellites themselves.”

218 These two best options are emphasized below. However, as with the other most difficult security challenges such as counterproliferation or the other most challenging space cases discussed below, a comprehensive, layered, and synergistic approach to this threat would seem to offer the best prospects for success. For these cases, the United States should pursue a range of policies designed to move up the escalatory ladder from denial, to reassurance and dissuasion, cooperative and involuntary reversal, deterrence, passive and active defenses, through counterforce operations including preemptive strikes.

219 For HAND more specifically, the United States should begin by continuing its arms control efforts such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) designed to deny potential adversaries the tools necessary to carry out a HAND.
---------------------------------
Back to Gus:
We can see here in item 217-218-219 a complex game of deceit and manipulation in order to control space. In some way we could not agree more at limiting the risks of the nuclear threat but that gives an enormous power to one country alone if we follow the US model alone...
When the article mentions electronics of satellites being at risks because of radiation one has to read as well, and this is firmly stated in Encyclopedia Britannica, that astronauts and cosmonauts are at risk as well at certain distance from earth (in the vicinity of 1000 km... although the decay in space of the -particles and the -radiation was noted to be particularly fast for nuclear decay (scattering ).
Yet it can be said using information from other sources that from these tests that the radio-activity in the Van Allen Belts is about a thousand fold what it was prior to the tests. May be we should worry too much... may be we...

This leads me also to another article recently published in the Sydney Morning Herald:
rediscovering the global nuclear threat... Since the early 60s me and my friends have been on the barricades tooting this problem loud and clear...
Yes, the massive nuclear arsenals of the world are not just idle decorations in someone’s backyard like a bunch of smiling garden gnomes. The weapons are aimed. They are ready to be armed within seconds. They are pointed at someone else... There is a plethora of red buttons...
Nuclear Disarmament was (and I believe still is) a great priority (if not his first) of P J Keating when he was Prime Minister. The first (or second? can someone out there refresh my memory on this chronology...?) lecture of Professor Keating (after he had been voted out of office) at the University of NSW was on this very subject and he painted a bleak picture that could not be anything else but bleak...
All this, despite a “disarmament” treaty being in force... The dismantlement of some of the arsenal does not preclude the secret and even not so secret invention of new ones...
The US are working on the “Son of Star Wars” to which Australia has been committed by J W Howard, the US are developing smaller targetable nuclear device that have “minimal” environmental damage... Neutron bombs are also here and, at the very bottom of this sorry nuclear pile of hardware, we have the depleted uranium shells, used in Gulf War One, in Kosovo and Gulf War Two (more can be said on this subject alone). These shells cannot be classified as Nuclear Devices although they do emit low radio-activity to about 300 times acceptable levels if one is close enough, and much higher once they “vapourise”. They can be and should be classified as primitive “dirty” nuclear bombs...

LINE OF SIGHT
The huge arsenal of the US would be aimed someone... say at China, Russia and a few smaller countries for good measure... The huge Russian arsenal would be pointed at China and the USA, while China’s would point at the other two, principally. The Indian nuclear arsenal is focused on Pakistan while the Pakistani outfit is aimed at India... The Israeli nuclear arsenal would have several direction around that small country, and target Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Iraq, Iran and a few others. The French arsenal like the English arsenal would be targeted at everybody else...

This seemingly arrested status quo is always in a flux especially when things (like monitoring) can go wrong. A few too many times Russia was on red alert, so were the Yanks... This also is difficult to monitor as a lot of these arsenals are stashed away on nuclear submarines, cruising the world oceans 24-7 (to use this ugly Yankee euphemism meaning 24 hours a day seven days a week...)
Who can forget the missile crisis in the early 1960s. In this saga the tooted hero was President Kennedy... but the real winner was President Kruschev, as he got the US to remove the nuclear devices pointed at Russia from a bit too close in the Turkish region... The most recent known incident in 2005 was when a US memo was badly written and a spelling mistake started a huge nuclear scare... Brother!

LOST IN SMOKE
So we’re marooned between one minute-to-midnight and one second-to-midnight from near-total oblivion on the surface of this planet, at any moment in time.... All we need is an idiot... I hate to be a prophet of gloom and doom but unless we come to our sense urgently and stop to democratically elect waring idiots in charge of our communities we should be able to pull things back a bit and see ourselves grow old... This is why the UN is so important despite its short-comings... It should be encourage to flourish and become a true centre for people of good will... This is why someone like John Bolton should not be contemplated as the US ambassador to the UN.

Hey, it’s quite funny as I was watching the ABC the other night about songs and protests... Here we had a young man fighting the obviously undemocratic behaviour of governments, yet these days these undemocratic behaviour are worse yet we don’t even hear “boo” from the youths we’re stuffing up the future of...  But due to massive deception, our governments hide their undemocratic behaviour, with the help of a media designed to put us to sleep with illusions and dreams of a better diet program... The generation-me (selfish) is winning the day... The be positive is a great seller... It’s like as if it’s un-Australian to bag J W Howard... it’s like as who cares... It’s Hollywood... Ironically, Payback and True Lies.... in the Mel Gibson movie, Payback, Kris Kristofferson plays the worst of baddies while in real life he is at the vanguard of protecting democracy... in the movie True Lies Arnold Swatzernegger plays a savior spy while in real life he adopts pseudo-nazi policies...

ECONOMY?
Yes I could not agree more with John Howard that trade is best to minimise tension between countries and he is not the owner nor the creator of this concept... it’s as old as 40,000 years of aboriginal traditions... The major problem presenting itself in our present situation with “increase trade” is also the increasing expenditure of energy to produce more stuff thus speeding up the global warming...
It’s a catch 22 situation...

What other cock-ups are we planning for the earth beside blowing up bombs in the Van Allen Belts? The accelerated deforestation of the Amazon? Dumping waste in the world oceans? Keep an eye out for the person who has nothing to lose, like the fanatic who profess god-given rights and for the grubby greedy monster who could not care less... keep a watch for the politicians who make promises and then say sorry for breaking them... (J W Howard). The only way out all this is to become more frugal. No other short term practice can help... The Flower people, the hippies of the sixties might prove to be right after all...
But will it be too late?

By Gus Leonisky at 25 Apr 2005 - 11:24am

reinstated on 21 July 2009 - 10:45

War Without End

Read excerpts from Andrew J. Bacevich's new book The New American Militarism, How Americans Are Seduced by War over at TomDispatch.

US at War

I had not seen that one yet but there are other references and writings on that subject. The “war push" with the US started before the civil war with the war against Mexico and the US has been more or less at war ever since - the US-Mexican War (1846-1848), US Civil War 1861-1865, Spanish-American War of 1898 and so on and on. The list is long from Nicaragua to China. I have the full list somehwere.

But here is an interesting viewpoint from Russia:

Izvestia
No. 28
February 2003
[translation from RIA Novosti for personal use only]
21ST CENTURY AND PREVENTIVE WARS
By Fedor BURLATSKY, chairman of the Scientific Council on Political Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Basically this letter explains after commenting on the oil in Iraq, that "preventive wars of the USA have yet another specific feature — Messianism. The Americans are convinced of their designation: to bring the ideals of democracy to the peoples of the world. Democracy and freedom are really absolute values for every person..."
But that, "A preventive war is a dangerous weapon. This is why a certain code of international-legal terms is needed, which, however, is not confined to UN resolutions only." And so on.

Yes T. G.! New nuclear posture indeed!

Extract from the article mentioned:
___________________________________

"""""US nuke policy rethink prompts physicist protest
Boffins against the bomb
By Lucy Sherriff
Published Wednesday 26th October 2005 15:58 GMT

Almost 500 physicists in the US have signed a petition protesting a proposed change in government policy that would allow the US to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries. The proposed change in policy was reported in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The petition's instigators, both professors of physics at The University of California, San Diego, said that they felt an obligation to take a stand because of the role physics played in developing the weapons in the first place.

The change in policy would undermine the long-standing nuclear non-proliferation treaty, professors Jorge Hirsch and Kim Griest argue in the petition.

They write:

The underlying principle of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is that in exchange for other countries forgoing the development of nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapon states will pursue nuclear disarmament. Instead, this new U.S. policy conveys a clear message to the 182 non-nuclear weapon states that the United States is moving strongly away from disarmament, and is in fact prepared to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear adversaries.

etc etc"""""
_________________________________

As alluded in my blog above this one, I have extrapolated that, although it's not overt US policy to point nukes at non-nukes countries, in practice this has been the case for years. To ratify this status as an official government policy is only the surface of an iceberg of deceit and secret plans that have been formulated for yonks. We know that in a case of conflicts all options — from napalm to unranium deplete bullets, and the nuke option — are part of the six-shot revolver pack....

lost in space...

Weird indeed... as the news of a Chinese stupid experiment, blowing up an "old" satellite into a million pieces of space junk from a rocket (that does not impress future astronaut and cosmonaut who could be hit for six by the debris, while floating above our beautiful planet) I was was going to tag along this news from China with my potted history of "space war" since the 1950s in the blog at the top "SPACE-TIME POLITICS"...

But I noticed with dismay that, either when YD moved furniture, some legs fell out or a boffin at Spooks Inc. decided the info was too hot to let it stay on the net and cracked the code to edit the piece by removing the controversial bits and leaving the heading and intro so no one would notice... But then the Chinese blow up came along. I will have to dig in my archives of filed bits to retrieve the full article that was dealing with the early nuclear experiments made by the US and the USSR in space...

Star Wars Three- Revenge of the Pentagonians

I can visualise a whole lot of Pentagonians dusting off the Reaganite plans and modernising them as we speak. No doubt the concepts of Star Wars I have had a few spring cleanings over the years, awaiting such situations as the Chinese demonstration.

These days however, it would be just as easy, as Andy Thomas was saying last year, to sling a few easy-launch lightweight drones into the sky to duke it out as requiredl Pretty useful rooks. The bishops will be the missile shield ships, able to concentrate firepower on any terra-based target in the Asia Pacific.

The space race never stopped. Watch how important Woomera becomes in the next twently years

Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan

Just over sixty years ago, the Soviet Union became the second country to possess nuclear arms when it tested its first nuclear bomb near Semipalatinsk in the then-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

An exhibition at the State Archive, which runs until Sunday, is devoted to the anniversary of the Soviet bomb and showcases a fascinating collection of previously classified materials related to its construction.

“We are glad to show everyone these priceless historical documents. For a long time they were hidden from the public, but we managed to gain access to them. Our ultimate aim is to tell the truth about the first Soviet nuclear bomb,” said Sergei Mironenko, the State Archive’s director.

-----------------------

read the top comment under the image...

water on the moon...

The recent discovery of water on the Moon by India's inaugural lunar mission almost never happened because of a twin helping of good old-fashioned red tape and lingering Cold War suspicions, reports science writer Pallava Bagla.

Hidden behind the euphoria of the find is a less publicised tale of complex back room dealings between Indian and Americanspace science teams.

Back in 2004, scientists from the two countries were eager to collaborate, but the Bureau of Export Control in the US did not share this enthusiasm. In fact it was seen by some on the Indian side as being singularly obstinate.

It is accused of not being willing to clear the paperwork that would allow sophisticated American-made instruments to be airlifted to Bangalore for the mission.

------------

read blog at top of this line of comments...

van allen belts

from the First Post

In 1962, the United States blew up a hydrogen bomb in space. The video above, posted by NPR, shows the results.

Why did they do it? Just four years earlier, a scientist called James Van Allen had discovered belts of high-energy particles around the Earth that were held in place by the planet’s magnetic field. Today those belts are called Van Allen belts.

The space nuke was big news in Hawaii Exploding an H-Bomb in space

Van Allen soon got involved with a US military plan to send rockets hundreds of miles into space to see what would happen if they were detonated in these Van Allen belts. The atomic bombs, which were first sent up in 1958, had little effect, but in July 1962, they tried a hydrogen bomb.

The operation, codenamed Starfish Prime, was so successful it created artificial extensions of the Van Allen belts that could be [seen?] from New Zealand to Hawaii.

The only thing more insane than the idea of trying to blow something up that you’ve just discovered is the reaction of the general populace, who seem to have lapped up the chance to see the resulting “nuclear rainbow”.

--------------------

see article written by Gus in 2005 at top...

star wars show of strength...

THE United States threatened to take military action against China during a secret ''star wars'' arms race within the past few years, leaked documents show.

The two nuclear superpowers shot down their own satellites using missiles in separate shows of strength, the files suggest.

The US government was so incensed by Chinese actions in space that it warned Beijing it would face military action if it did not desist. However, the Chinese carried out further tests as recently as last year, leading to protests from the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Beijing justified its actions by accusing the Americans of developing an ''offensive'' laser weapon system that would be capable of destroying missiles before they left enemy territory.

The disclosures are contained in documents obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

The standoff began in January 2007 when China shocked the White House by shooting down one of its own weather satellites 850 kilometres above the Earth.

The strike, which resulted in thousands of pieces of debris orbiting the Earth, raised fears that the Chinese had the power to cause chaos by destroying US military and civilian satellites.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/america-threatened-china-over-star-wars-20110203-1affj.html

Read 2005 article at top... and this earlier warning on this caper...

the "saturnian" rings of earth...

The amount of junk in space is rising exponentially, with continuous collisions between abandoned equipment, spent rockets and other debris creating ever growing clouds of dangerous fragments, an influential report warned on Thursday.

The report, commissioned by Nasa, says the quantity of hazardous material circling the Earth has reached a "tipping point" and poses a real and increasing danger to satellites and the International Space Station.

It suggests developing a clean-up strategy, which could include catching debris with nets, magnets or giant umbrellas.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/01/space-junk-rising-exponentially-earth

 

read article at top...

the better rocket...

On Thursday, two satellites will launch from French Guiana to begin the process of rolling out Galileo - Europe's multi-billion-euro version of the American Global Positioning System (GPS).

If that were not significant enough, the spacecraft will ride to orbit on the first Russian Soyuz rocket to operate from Western territory.

I'll talk more of Galileo later in the week, but I want to concentrate on Soyuz for this posting.

Formally initiated by European space ministers in 2003, the new Soyuz launch complex has been constructed at Europe's spaceport - the Guiana Space Centre (CSG - Centre Spatial Guyanais).

It is inside the Sinnamary commune about 15km up the coast from the Kourou commune where the pad was built for Europe's heavy-lift workhorse, the Ariane 5 rocket.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15335656

 

Anyone who has studied rocket science would know by now that the Russian Soyuz rockets have been the best workhorse of space exploration... The most efficient rockets using the most efficient hot fuel combination...

read article at top...

secret mission...

 

The X-37B is set to return to Earth after more than a year in space ... but its mission remains shrouded in secrecy.

The US Air Force unmanned experimental craft blasted off last March. It measures 8.8 metres, has a wing span of 4.6 metres and looks like a mini space shuttle, and was sent up into space to test its capabilities.


But it is not known what its purpose is, and what it could carry.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/x37b-is-this-operation-bewilder-the-chinese-20120606-1zvk5.html#ixzz1x0MPAztt

read article at top...

 

doctor who and torchwood...

 

Britain has released an archive detailing government briefings on unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The 25 files released by The National Archives include "a lengthy briefing on UFO policy to then prime minister Tony Blair's office" along with a job description for the post of UFO desk officer, described as the "weirdest job in Whitehall".

According to a former employee of the UFO desk, which closed in 2009, the perception that it consisted of "top secret teams of specialist scientists scurrying around the country in a real life version of the X-Files" was "total fiction". Instead, daily duties included providing briefings on the ministry of defence's position on UFOs, undertaking UFO investigations, handling freedom of information requests and managing UFOlogists (UFO "experts").

We now have a fascinating insight into some of the extraordinary reports and briefings which passed over the UFO Desk on a daily basis  

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/weirdest-job-in-whitehall-ufos-men-in-black-and-chelsea-fc-20120712-21xo9.html#ixzz20OxEaftM

 

read article at top...

 

the bomb on the moon...

The United States planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb during the cold war, according to reports.
The secret project, dubbed 'A Study of Lunar Research Flights' or 'Project A119', was allegedly devised by US military chiefs at the height of the space race in the late 1950s as a show of strength over the Soviet Union, scientists claim.
According to reports, the US would have used an atom bomb because a hydrogen bomb would have been too heavy. 

A missile carrying the bomb would have been launched from an undisclosed location on Earth and travel to the moon, where it would detonate on impact.

The project would have been carried out in 1959, but was reportedly abandoned by military officials due to fears that it would endanger people on Earth should the mission fail.

Physicist Leonard Reiffel, who was involved with the project, said it would have intimidated the Soviet Union and given the US a morale boost after the Russians successfully launched Sputnik in 1957. Reiffel went on to serve as deputy director at NASA.
Scientists involved raised concerns about contaminating the moon with radioactive material, Reiffel said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/us-planned-to-blow-up-the-moon-20121128-2aejm.html#ixzz2DYkLVI66
If you are interested in this, read from the top article in this line of comments......

belting around...

The Van Allen belts are part of a "space weather" system, driven by the interaction of charged particles blasting from the sun with the Earth's magnetic field, that can disrupt satellites, power grids and GPS. It could also potentially affect spacecraft passing through their region of space. Because of that, the Radiation Belt Storm Probes were sent up to study them in more detail and help improve space weather forecasts.

The space probes first detected two belts, as expected, when they were first turned on two days after launch.

Shortly after that, however, the outer part of the Van Allen belt was ripped away, likely by a blast of solar wind, leaving behind a ring of very high energy particles that seemed curiously "immune" to the solar wind, said Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder.

On one side of it, the inner-most ring remained stable, and on the other side, an outer belt of electrons swelled and shrank repeatedly over the next few weeks. The inner-most ring remained stable during that time.

Four weeks later, a solar shock wave destroyed the two outer rings. Eventually, the familiar outer ring reformed in their place.

However, Baker said, there has been no recurrence of the third belt in the past five months.

Mona Kessel, a Van Allen Probes program scientist with NASA, said at the news conference that the researchers "don't completely understand the phenomena we're seeing."

"We're trying to piece this all together right now," she added.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/02/28/science-van-allen-belt.html

Please, read story at top...

squandering square meals to mars...

Why are world leaders so eager to spend billions of dollars on space programs rather than eliminating poverty at home? Because they want to wave their flags, writes Ruby Hamad.

Closely watched by NASA and, no doubt, its envious Chinese neighbours, India successfully launched Mangalyaan, its first ever mission to Mars, in search of the ever-elusive "traces of life" on the red planet.

But not everyone is thrilled with the $73 million price tag, including Dr Jean Dreze of the Delhi School of Economics. "The country would be better served if the same resources, talent and zeal were focused on public health or solar energy, " the economist told CNN.

Social activist Dr Ranjana Kumari agrees: "I certainly think where one third of the population is below poverty line and struggling, almost barely surviving, certainly the priorities have to be more for social programs, for ensuring that everybody gets at least shelter and two square meals a day."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-08/hamad-india-joins-the-space-race/5078196

 

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beyond the cold war...

 

Higher Risks with Hybrid Warfare

"It (hybrid warfare) makes everything more dangerous," said Nunn, "It makes tactical nuclear weapons more dangerous, and it makes weapons material more dangerous." It is common knowledge that some of these weapons are also stationed in Germany. Up to 20 B61 aerial bombs, now being updated at great expense, are stored at the Büchel Air Base in the Eifel region of western Germany. They are under US command, but German Tornado fighter jets would drop the bombs in the event of a war.

When asked if hybrid warfare could raise the danger of nuclear weapons being used, US diplomat Richard Burt -- who, in his role as chief negotiator, helped put together the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, between the United States and the Soviet Union -- answered in the affirmative. "The simple answer is yes. Both American and Russian nuclear arms are essentially on a kind of hair-trigger alert. Both sides have a nuclear posture where land-based missiles could be authorized for use in less than 15 minutes." In the situation of hybrid warfare, he warns, "that is a dangerous state of play."

"In the Cold War, we created mechanisms of security. A huge number of treaties and documents helped us to avoid a big and serious military crash," says former Foreign Minister Ivanov. "Now the threat of a war is higher than during the Cold War."

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

read more: 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/munich-conference-warns-of-greater-threat-of-nuclear-conflict-a-1018357-druck.html

 

the profitable tools of wars...

 

WASHINGTON — It’s no secret that federal bureaucracy can be inefficient, wasteful and dysfunctional, but when the cumulative effect of mistakes at a major nuclear weapons laboratory starts resembling a Three Stooges shtick, it’s anything but funny. It’s dangerous.

Despite being a major component (and birthplace) of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, the lab is not (mis)managed solely by the federal government. The longstanding problems at the New Mexico campus, which include enough safety and security lapses to make one’s hair curl, have taken place under the stewardship of a private global construction giant, Bechtel Corporation, which leads the public-private partnership called Los Alamos National Security LLC. This also includes the University of California, which botched its own 62-year management of the lab but was taken on as a partner anyway. Two other private contractors—BWX Technologies and Washington Group International (now AECOM)—form the rest of the enterprise, which beat out other major privateers, such as Lockheed Martin, for the $2.2 billion contract in 2006.

Bechtel, the largest civil engineering and construction contractor in the United States, brought in an annual revenue stream of $32.3 billion as of 2015. It raked in billions of military contracts during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, scooping up a $680 million deal to “rebuild” only a month after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. Despite a long record of cost-overruns, mismanagement, environmental violations, and even fraud in its many war and domestic contracts, Bechtel has soared on to bigger and better things, today holding an unprecedented $10 billion contract to build Saudi Arabia’s first underground transportation system in Riyadh, and a planet full of other projects, including those involving the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Los Alamos partnership is destined to be just a footnote in the company’s 120-year history, however. In fact, Bechtel’s stewardship was so bad the consortium is losing its contract in 2018 and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous part of the Department of Energy that oversees the development and modernization of the nation’s nuclear warheads, officially started the bid process for the new contract in late June.

The question is if privatizing the industry proved less safe and more expensive than a government run operation, will another private contractor be any better? Furthermore, seeing how the DOE, NNSA—even the U.S. Congress—fell down in its oversight responsibilities, who can be confident that the government can turn this lab, or any other that has been farmed out to industry, around?

“The management problems at Los Alamos National Laboratory are so deep and structural, there’s a lot of blame to go around, and they won’t be fixed by picking one contractor over another. The entire contracting arrangements need to be completely rethought and congressional oversight committees need to do their duty,” says Greg Mello, director of the Los Alamos Study Group, an Albuquerque-based non-profit that since 1989 has been relentless in its pursuit to cast sunlight on the lab’s activities, including its contract and program boondoggles and security breaches.

“There has been little accountability for mistakes for literally hundreds of fiascos and goofball management decisions,” Mello told TAC last week. “We have to start with parsing the elements of the mission and the presumption that a lot of people can get rich while doing very little work at a federal nuclear weapons laboratory. The culture of Los Alamos is deeply arrogant and to bring back a culture of public service and intellectual integrity will require more institutional examination than has ever happened.”

For their part the NNSA and Bechtel have played down the connection between the partnership’s well-documented safety violations and cost overruns and the loss of the contract. “This has been forecasted long ago,” NNSA spokesman Greg Wolf said in June. “This was coming and the timing is coincidental.”

But in 2015 it was made clear that the partnership did not meet expectations and per the contract, failed to secure enough “award terms” that would allow them to extend the contract beyond the time it was set to expire in FY 2017.

Mello makes no bones about the the fact he is in favor of nuclear disarmament, in part because he believes the nuclear weapons industry has become a self-perpetuating bureaucracy forever in search of “make work” to justify its increasing federal budget (President Trump has proposed a 7.8 percent increase in the NNSA budget to $13.9 billion in FY18). This is not much different than the rest of the federal bureaucracy, but unlike other agencies, the NNSA involves “the apocalyptic power of nuclear weapons” and the constant threat of war to sustain itself, says Mello.

“It’s where Dr. Strangelove lives,” he said, referring to the 1964 political satire in which weak politicians and zealous military generals, advised by a diabolical wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi played by Peter Sellers, buffoon their way into a global nuclear holocaust. “He didn’t really go away, he took a job at the (Los Alamos) weapons lab and in the upper levels of the Air Force. That’s their problem. They’re an opaque part of the military that has an outsized role in maintaining a posture that keeps the threat of nuclear annihilation alive.”

Whether you agree with disarmament supporters or come down on the side that believes the nation’s nuclear arsenal must be modernized in order to maintain the Nuclear Triad and its role as a strategic deterrent (particularly now, when tensions with the only other country that can match’s America’s nuclear stockpile, Russia, are uncomfortably high), mounting evidence that what’s going on at Los Alamos is counter-productive on any front is hard to ignore.

On the safety and security front: numerous incidents reported and cited in investigations regarding employee exposure to radioactive material, including plutonium, arsenic and beryllium. Unsafe handling of radioactive materials seems to be a chronic issue. In 2013, in order to avoid missing a deadline, the lab reportedly cut corners to ship a highly acidic batch of nuclear waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. To get it there fast, it mixed the waste with organic kitty litter and a neutralizer, turning it into a highly volatile material akin to a plastic explosive. When it got to Carlsbad it did just that—in 2014 the buried 55-gallon drum exploded underground, exposing 20 workers and shutting the plant for two years. The clean-up cost of at least $1 billon was billed to the American taxpayer.

In 2011, workers were cited for mishandling eight plutonium rods—putting them side-by-side on a table, described as a no-no of epic proportions for its potential to “fission uncontrollably, spontaneously sparking a nuclear chain reaction.” The incident, and others, eventually led to the 2013 shutdown of plutonium handling operations at Los Alamos, known as the PF-4 facility. This, of course, has halted the controversial pit production written about in these pages here and here. It also meant the loss of an estimated $1.36 million in productivity with no end in sight. As the DOE said this year the lab did not “meet expectations” on its safety scorecard and program compliance record. The lab is still not open for full production as a result.

This June, the Center for Public Integrity released a damning report citing chapter and verse all of the safety foibles and bad reviews, including 40 reports by government oversight agencies, teams of safety experts and the lab’s own employees over the last 11 years—all under the Bechtel-led auspices. The Center for Public Integrity says safety is taking a back seat to meeting deadlines set by the private contractors. Others say the contractors have been “chasing lucrative government bonuses tied to those goals.”

But what about cost? The move toward privatization was supposed to save taxpayers money but as the watchdogs point out, it’s done anything but. As theSanta Fe New Mexican reported early this year, the management fee incurred by the government increased from $8 million in 2005 to $80 million by 2010, while the number of upper-level managers making more than $200,000 a year tripled.

Just as bad are the lab’s boondoggles. As TAC reported in 2011, a facility that was supposed to increase pit (the cores of a nuclear weapon) production to 80 pits a year (per congressional mandate) ballooned to $6 billion in projected costs and spent $500 million in the planning phase before it was cancelled amid widespread criticism. That didn’t stop the lab from embarking on a new plan, one that is expected to cost $3 billion despite all of the aforementioned safety problems that already exist and have yet to be fixed.

Lydia Dennett, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight says she has little confidence a new contractor will do any better after the Bechtel gang leaves town. There are less than two dozen contractors in this field, and they have all worked together in some configuration or another, even on the current contract. The big ones have their lobbyists in Washington to help pull the strings. She points to Lockheed Martin, which got a mere ‘slap on the wrist’ for using federal funds to lobby Washington for no-bid contracts, which is illegal. It still manages the Sandia National Laboratory to the tune of $2.4 billion a year.

“I don’t see any of these concerns changing just because there is a changing of the guard,” she tells TAC. “What needs to happen is the DOE needs to get more engaged in its management and oversight role.” She said the lack of accountability has been appalling, taking nearly a decade before Bechtel was penalized. “They got a lot of leeway and a lot of chances before the government stepped in and said, ‘enough.’ How much are taxpayers paying for before the government says, ‘enough’’’?

Mello points out that without stronger government oversight, a change in the lazy, pass-the-buck culture, and a true ‘free market’ approach that breaks up the small number of contractors’ grip on the industry and makes them truly accountable, the status quo will remain.

“In the absence of such a profound self-examination the only conclusion we can make is that Los Alamos cannot be reformed, it’s just going to be a mess,” he said. “And it will be just a matter of time before there’s more accidents, more project management failures, hundreds if not billions wasted.”

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is managing editor of The American Conservative. Follow her on Twitter @Vlahos_at_TAC

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http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/dr-strangelove-and-the-l...

 

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space cowboys...

While US lawmakers are moving forward with plans to create a "Space Corps" with the announced purpose of battling China and Russia in space; American generals oppose the idea of introducing space units. Russian political analysts review why this idea is so flawed.

American lawmakers are moving forward with plans to create a "Space Corps" to be able to battle Russia and China in space.

 

"National security space can no longer be treated as a pay-for," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee, said this week, as quoted by the US political newspaper The Hill.

"We have very real risks to Russia and China in space, and warfighting has become absolutely dependent on space," he added.

The newspaper reports that the House moved forward with its plans to create a Space Corps this week when it passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"But the proposal faces a long road before becoming reality. The administration, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, has come out strongly against the idea. And there’s no equivalent proposal in the Senate, meaning the provision could be stripped out before the bill’s final passage," the outlet says.

While the Space Corps sounds like it would deploy a squadron to fight Martians, the new service would be focused on more familiar, terrestrial threats — namely, Russia and China, it explains.

It would be housed under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps falls under the Department of the Navy.
The corps would have its own budget and its own chief of staff, who would join the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 

Its duties, as described by the NDAA, would be "protecting the interests of the United States in space; deterring aggression in, from, and through space; providing combat-ready space forces that enable the commanders of the combatant commands to fight and win wars; organizing, training, and equipping space forces; and conducting space operations of the Space Corps under the command of the Commander of the United States Space Command."

Under the bill, the service would have to be up and running by January 1, 2019.

"Proponents of the space service argue Russia and China have been outpacing the United States in space. Both countries have conducted anti-satellite missile tests demonstrating their ability to shoot a satellite out of space," the newspaper goes on.

The idea, however, has failed to gain the support of the US military, including Pentagon Chief James Mattis.

The opponents of the latest proposal say that Congress has not done enough due diligence to justify such a big change, The Hill reports. It needs to slow down and require the Pentagon to study the issue before requiring it to reorganize, it quotes Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) as saying.

The White House called the creation of the service "premature at this time." The US Defense Secretary noted that "the creation of an independent Space Corps, with the corresponding institutional growth and budget implications, does not address the specific concerns nor our nation’s fiscal problems in a responsive manner."

 

Meanwhile, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson commented that "creation of a separate Space Corps at this time would create additional seams between the services, disrupt ongoing efforts to establish a warfighting culture and new capabilities, and require costly duplication of personnel and resources."

Her point of view was supported by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

Commenting on the idea, Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev, former Deputy Commander of the Air Force for the CIS, called it quite logical and modern. Even though separate Space units have existed in the US for some time, they need to be centralized, he told Russia's online newspaper Vzglyad.

He suggested that the separate command and separate funding will make the management of space forces and its expenditures more effective.

 

On the other hand, the military expert said, the Pentagon's reasons should not be ignored. The setup of a separate military branch will complicate anything other than a simple structure for the US armed forces, hamper cooperation between the units as well as its management, and reinforce bureaucracy, while Mattis is trying to reorganize and optimize the US army.

Besides, he suggested, Congress might not allocate separate funds for the Corps, but simply re-distribute the funds of the US Air Force, which already lacks the money for the projects proposed by Mattis.

Military analyst Viktor Murakhovsky, the editor-in-chief of Arsenal Otechestva (Arsenal of the Motherland) also considers that the setup of  a separate Corps counter-productive.

 

"Experience has shown that such an approach is ineffective. Such units can't operate on their own. They will certainly need a ground infrastructure, communication and guidance systems, as well as a logistics system, so they will use the systems of the Air Force," he told Vzglyad.

Murakhovsky noted that the US military are ready to develop space programs without any special units, and therefore suggested that the activity of the Congress might be explained by the active lobbying of aerospace corporations, which advocate the setup of a separate space unit.

With regards to the explanation of Congress that Russia and China might be far ahead in space by having adopted their armed forces to battling the threats coming from space, the experts called it at least strange. Back in 2015, Russia, on the contrary, merged two branches of its armed forces, its Space Troops and Air Forces, into the Aerospace Forces.

Viktor Murakhovsky explained that Russia used to have a separate unit of Space Troops which proved to be ineffective. In such conditions, it should be Mattis and not the authors of the project, who should appeal to Russia's example.

 

With regards to China, it also has separate space units, as well as the US, however it does not have a separate branch of Space Corps. In 2014, Beijing was discussing the setup of a similar structure, however it has not been implemented so far.  It still remains to be seen whether China has abandoned these plans at all or just postponed them, however it is absolutely inappropriate to refer both to Moscow and Beijing as potential threats, the experts concluded.  

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/201707161055585876-usspace-corps/

 

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cash-saving space secrecy...

The United States Air Force (USAF) is preparing their secretive X-37B space plane for its fifth mission in early September. As always, most of the X-37B’s payload and mission is classified, but Space.com has reported that the launch may be slated for early September.

The fifth mission of the X-37B, known as Orbital Test Vehicle-5 (OTV-5), is different from previous launches in that the space plane will be carried into orbit atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The previous four X-37B missions arrived in space via a Lockheed Martin-Boeing Atlas V rocket. The Falcon 9 costs about $62 million per launch due to it being partially reusable, compared to the Atlas V's $109 million per launch.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/military/201708171056556271-air-force-space-plan...

 

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space bum-fight rules...

Over the past twenty years, three international protocols have been written that lay out the 'rules of war' for naval, air and missile, and cyber warfare.

Now a group of around 40 global experts academics, lawyers and former and serving military commanders  are drafting a Manual of International Law for any future war in outer space.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on GPS satellites to run everything form the Internet to ATMs  the concern is that any future conflict may target these so-called "space assets".

So draft "rules of engagement" will be ready for government comment in 2019 — more than 35 years after former US President Ronald Reagan dreamed of building a missile defence shield in outer space.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/rules-of-engageme...

 

Read from top... In the 1980s I wrote a si-fi novel based in the 2050s on this very subject... 

spangled-star wars...

We are moving forward with modernization in space, so we’re increasing our lethality in all of our areas of endeavor,” Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson told reporters Thursday. “And we are shifting to space as a warfighting domain.”

In 1967, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Outer Space Treaty which prohibits signatories from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in outer space. The accord, however, stopped short of limiting the deployment of conventional weapons.

Wilson said Congress has proposed to increase the funding of space-related military programs even beyond the levels sought by the Air Force. Section 1605 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 also classifies space as a potential “combat domain.”

It is the policy of the United States to develop, produce, field, and maintain an integrated system of assets in response to the increasingly contested nature of the space operating domain to [among other things] deter or deny an attack on capabilities at every level of orbit in space,” as well as to “defend the territory of the United States, its allies, and its deployed forces across all operating domains,”Section 1605 reads

“Everyone agrees that space needs to be integrated, normalized as a part of a joint warfighting effort. This year’s budget... The FY18 budget proposal increases what the Air Force is proposing to spend on space by 20 percent,” Wilson added.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has made modernizing America’s capabilities in space one of his priorities in his efforts to make US Air Force “more lethal every day.” He earlier called on Congress to pass the NDAA so the Pentagon can “invest in critical warfighting capabilities, including in space.”

“Secretary Mattis has been very clear in his guidance to all the services that we are to go look at how do we increase lethality and readiness,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, sitting next to Wilson, told reporters. “The nation expects its Air Force to own the high ground, the ultimate high ground and achieve space superiority which is like air superiority – freedom to attack and freedom to maneuver.”

Most of America’s space strategy is coordinated from the National Space Defense Center (NSDC) at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. Its experts are already devising potential space fighting scenarios.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/409535-us-air-force-weaponize-space/

 

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no rules of engagement...

 

US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten has noted that there are no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, but international norms are needed.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten has alleged that China and Russia have reportedly been developing capabilities, including jamming and laser weapons, that can target military assets of the United States, based in space.

"Our adversaries have been watching us ever since the first Gulf War… The Chinese and the Russians, in particular, for the last twenty plus years have been watching what we have been doing and developing capabilities, and they have not been secret about it. They have been… testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the earth in space — jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret," Hyten said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California as broadcast by CNN.

According to the general, Moscow and Beijing were allegedly building those capabilities to challenge the United States and its allies as well as to "change the balance of power in the world."

Hyten acknowledged that there were currently no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, adding that international norms were needed.

READ MORE: Deep Space? Pyongyang's ICBM Allegedly Flew 10 Times Higher Than ISS

Russia has repeatedly warned against the militarization of space. As part of their September Xiamen declaration, the leaders of BRICS countries, including China and Russia, have called on world states to carry out the peaceful exploration in outer space and in accordance with international law, stressing that outer space should remain free from any kind of weapons and use of force.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/military/201712031059654917-us-general-weapons-r...

 

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space. the war beyond earth...

The threat of war in space is no longer just the stuff of science fiction, according to academics who are warning of the inevitability of armed conflict beyond Earth.

Key points:
  • Conflict in outer space not a case of "if" but "when", university dean of law says
  • The legal regime that governs the use of force in space currently unclear
  • US must start to prepare for possibility of armed conflict in outer space, US Air Force secretary says

 

Leading space and legal experts from Australia, the UK and the United States are collaborating on a new project which aims to improve the understanding of how Earth-bound laws could be applied in times of armed conflict in space.

"Conflict in outer space is not a case of 'if' but 'when'," Melissa de Zwart, the dean of law at the University of Adelaide, said.

"However, the legal regime that governs the use of force and actual armed conflict in outer space is currently very unclear."

Professor de Zwart is among a group of international academics who have begun work on the Woomera Manual, which they hope will become the definitive document on military and security law as it applies to space, when it is completed in 2020.

Rob McLaughlin, a professor of Military and Security Law at UNSW Canberra, said space was a key enabler for communications, surveillance, early warning, and navigation systems, and was therefore a critical security and conflict domain.

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-10/war-in-space-inevitable-experts-wa...

 

 

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Let's hope it will never happen as it should never happen. 

dominance of space...

US President Donald Trump says he is ordering the establishment of a sixth branch of the military to clear the way for American dominance in space.

Key points:
  • Mr Trump said he wants a 'Space Force' to stop China and Russia' from leading the US
  • But, the international Outer Space Treaty bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space
  • Mr Trump also signed a directive on the management of traffic and debris in space

 

"It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space," Mr Trump said before a meeting of his National Space Council.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we're going to have the 'Space Force.' Separate but equal," he said later.

"It is going to be something. So important."

The United States, however, is a member of the Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-19/trump-wants-american-dominance-in-space/9884718

 

----------------------------


The US government is slated to receive one of two batches of Russian-made rocket engines in the second quarter of 2018, according to a leading Russian rocket designer, at nearly the same point when the newly created US Space Force is being established as a new branch of the US armed forces.

The engines are used for delivering heavy payloads to space aboard the Atlas V launch vehicle — which will now presumptively fall under US Space Force, a sixth branch of the US armed forces announced by US President Donald Trump on Monday. "We have the Air Force and we're going to have the Space Force. Separate but equal." The US military's space command was formerly designated under the US Air Force's area of responsibility.

"Currently, the production of commercial engines at Energomash is proceeding in compliance with the contracts signed," said Pyotor Lyvochkin, Chief Developer of Energomash Scientific and Production Association, Zero Hedge reported Sunday. "The dispatch of the first batch of RD-180 and RD-181 engines to the United States is planned for the second quarter of 2018," Lyvochkin noted.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/business/201806181065527198-Russia-Deliver-US-Rocket-Engines-Trump-Creates-Space-Force/

 

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a waste of space...

Trump announced that he is ordering the creation of a “Space Force” as a new branch of the military. Among other problems with this proposal is that creating a new branch is entirely unnecessary:

But the idea has faced resistance from senior Pentagon officials. Last fall, Rogers and Coopers’ proposal was scrapped after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said it would lead to unnecessary costs and bureaucracy.

“I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions,” Mattis said in October in a memo to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Nothing could be more wasteful and redundant than creating a new branch of the military for space. There is no compelling reason to create a new branch of the military. It would mean expanding an already bloated military budget while breaking apart an existing branch just for the sake of doing it. The idea is already running into resistance...

 

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-u-s-doesnt-need-a-spa...