Human Space Flight Will
Not Be Our Escape
By James Donahue
The collective subconscious
awareness by humans on a dying planet seems to be prompting a growing interest in the possibility of colonizing other planets
in our solar system.
Our current robotic exploration
of Mars, and a search for water, is only a prelude to a Bush Administration call for a beefed-up space program that will send
men back to the moon and beyond to the red planet.
But faced with a growing
federal deficit from America’s foolishly declared wars in Iraq,
Afghanistan and our military presence
at numerous other points in the world, Congress is balking at the thought of sinking multi-billions into the Bush space initiative.
A key House committee
recently rejected the president’s budget request to launch the moon and Mars exploration initiatives.
And a few voices of reason
are starting to ask if the cost of sending humans that far into space is worth the cost of resources and human lives.
In an article that appeared
in the Summer 2004 volume of Issues in Science and Technology, noted space pioneer
James van Allen questions the worth of human spaceflight. He warns that sending astronauts back to the moon and beyond will
to too costly and that he believes the science to be gained will be “trivial.”
Van Allen argues that
“the only surviving motivation for continuing human spaceflight is the ideology of adventure . . . I ask myself whether
the huge national commitment of technical talent to human spaceflight and the ever-present potential for the loss of precious
human life are really justifiable.”
Obviously Van Allen is
overlooking the possibility that the United States and China might be locked in a silent and undeclared race for
establishing a military colony on the moon, or just claiming military advantage in satellite technology.
Under the circumstances,
the cost of seeking world dominance through military strength in space is a wasted effort. Instead of military conquest, the
United States would be wise to try to
mend the fences burned by the Bush Administration in the last four years, and openly seek to join the European Union in establishing
a one world government.
Only through the cooperative
effort of all of the nations of the world can humans achieve the things sought by all; world peace, stability in world commerce,
and ecological controls designed to prolong the life of Planet Earth.
Rather than look to space
as a possible escape from our bungling on Earth, we would do much better turning our attention within, and doing all we can
to heal the Mother and correct our mistakes as quickly as possible.
Our failure to do so
will only lead to catastrophic disaster.