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Not In The Race?
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Should US Support Another Moon Mission?

 

By James Donahue

 

A growing group of former mission managers, planetary scientists and astronauts are expressing doubts as to the viability of a NASA plan for new manned missions to the Moon and the establishment of a base as first phase of a mission to Mars.

 

All of this has been on the drawing boards since it was proposed by President George W. Bush in a speech in 2004.

 

Opponents of the lunar base plan argue that the project appears to lack public support and that the concept of a lunar base may not even be practical since there is no proof that water exists there.

 

Indeed, there appears to be a race among other nations, including Russia, China, Japan and a few others, to send manned missions to the Moon. That the United States is taking a laid-back approach to such competition after successfully achieving its Apollo missions in the 1960’s and 70s., is perhaps disconcerting.

 

We say this because we believe . . . and we are sure people in high places in the Pentagon agree . . . that the interest in sending humans to the Moon is related more to military conquest than it is for discovery, science, or commerce. As one writer recently put it: “In military terms, the moon can be seen as the ultimate high ground.”

 

Indeed, a first manned base on the Moon could be a platform for sophisticated microwave or laser weapon systems that could be aimed at any target on Earth. Such a weapon would be almost impossible to block once it is in place and operating. And it could be easily operated by remote control from Earth, thus eliminating the need for a manned Moon base at all.

 

Then there is another factor that many folks may not be considering. A few years ago we read a troublesome report in Weekly World News about a bizarre plot by the Russians to blow up the moon. While the story may have been a total fabrication, there was a frightening element of realism there. The story said the explosives were designed to cause the Earth to tilt differently, thus improving the Russian growing season. The tilt also would impact weather in the United States.

 

Demolishing the moon, the story said, “will be a simple matter of placing about 600 multi-megaton nuclear warheads on Soyuz-type rockets and launching at the target.” A bomb attack like that probably wouldn’t destroy the moon, but it might push it out of its perfect orbit around Earth. And that, in turn, would have a devastating impact on all life on our planet. Everything in the sea, the tides, the migration of birds and insects, the change of seasons, and even the menstrual cycles of all mammals would be affected.

 

Some say the loss of our moon would be the perfect doomsday device.

 

This is why NASA and our government should not be so complacent when it comes to the current race among nations to send new manned missions to the moon. If military conquest is on the minds of the Chinese and the Russians, then perhaps it would be wise for us to take a closer look at restructuring our own space program and getting there first.