“-a new post at the office of the assistant secretary of defense for space policy, which oversees a larger portfolio including space, nuclear weapons, cyber, missile defense, electromagnetic warfare, and countering weapons of mass destruction. He will work within the office of John Hill, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space and missile defense.
Hill’s office is in charge of coordinating guidelines for “responsible behavior in space”-“
Countering weapons of mass destruction is fairly easy concerning space; move the U.S. nuclear deterrent into deep space, months away from Earth, on human-crewed “space boomers.” This would solve myriad problems and accomplish so many things at once it is by far the best path forward.
In terms of missile defense, the only real “defense” is the same it has been for almost three quarters of a century- to detect incoming missiles and respond with Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.). This doctrine has kept another world war from happening for so long that we all seem to think that is not a possibility anymore. Recent events are a wake-up call. Submarines and bombers are now forever vulnerable, and the “first strike” nightmare has returned.
The very first step is to STOP proliferation in LEO by ending the construction of these megaconstellations and strictly regulate the number and type of satellites allowed in orbit. The ongoing downward spiral into a new cold war in orbit will lead to destabilization and put the planet again in the same situation it was in the last century, which I remember well; on the brink of Armageddon. International treaties radically reducing the number of satellites would be “responsible behaviour.” Large human-crewed GEO platforms with laser brooms can sweep the lower orbits clear.
Before the robots take over and the inevitable malfunction and cascade of failures precipitates nuclear war and a new dark age, which takes us from danger of extinction into likelihood of extinction, we need to intervene.
The intervention is to stabilize the planet by solving climate change with Space Solar Power by way of lunar resources. By placing humans back into the loop, in GEO and lunar Space Stations, Lunar Cyclers, and Spaceships, and focusing on ending fossil fuel energy generation, we can avoid impending catastrophe.
Neoliberalism is wrecking planet Earth, just as it did, most notably, in 1929, with the stock market crash. In the 21st century the consequences of waiting for a climate change crash will result in the deaths of billions. What is needed is a preemptive “Green New Space Deal” with Space Solar Power by way of lunar resources.
I feel strongly that America has failed at leading humankind into space. Of the long list of brilliant minds that have spent large parts of their lives working to save humanity by expanding our species into space, Gerard K. O’Neill was, in my opinion, the single most important voice. O’Neill has not only been ignored but replaced by a false prophet embodying and extolling a toxic ideology.
Climate Change and the Neoliberalism driving it is wrecking planet Earth. The solution, the only solution, is to power civilization using Space Solar Power, and create those satellites to power civilization by exploiting lunar resources. To build these factories on the Moon will require a vast state-sponsored public works energy project and every nation on Earth contributing their part.
These tax dollars spent on Mars return sample missions and probes to the outer solar system? The entire focus of science and industry must be on the Moon and on Climate Change for decades to come if we are to avoid a catastrophe that will cost the lives of billions. The best path to expanding humankind into space begins with humans actually living and working in space for long durations without suffering permanent damage.
Planetary Protection by way of nuclear propelled and armed human-crewed Spaceships with massive cosmic ray water shielding and tether-generated artificial gravity is the bare minimum prerequisite and starting point. Sadly, profit is the mission as the DOD is busy forming “public private partnerships” to weaponize Low Earth Orbit. We are obviously an endangered species.
“-Endurance-A that would send a robotic rover to the moon’s South Pole Aiken Basin on a commercial lander. The rover would travel 2,000 kilometers across the basin and collect 100 kilograms of samples. Those samples would be returned to Earth on a crewed Artemis mission.“
Lunar activities are about the only effort I could support out of all of it, even though I am fascinated by the possibility of life under the icy surfaces of the ocean moons of the gas and ice giants and other bodies like Ceres. And of course, planetary protection using human-crewed nuclear armed Spaceships might be a good idea to keep us from ending like the dinosaurs. As I have stated many times over the years, any aliens observing us have likely come to the conclusion we are too stupid too survive. Any really intelligent species would have protected themselves from impact threats long ago instead of just hoping for the best.
There really is only one practical propulsion system for pushing the multi-thousand ton masses of shielding and artificial gravity structure required for Human Space Flight Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit and that is Nuclear Pulse Propulsion. There is nothing else that even comes close to it but due to the use of what are essentially repurposed nuclear weapons it has been one of those untouchable subjects for over half a century. The other miracle propulsion system is Fission Fragment, which uses a particular isotope; Am 242 if I recall. It has long been known that this stuff works far better than any other fissionable, and is actually the only one that works in a controllable and practical fashion, in a certain really good engine design that is similar to a rocket engine. Unfortunately, to manufacture this fuel for Spaceships would entail the creation of a whole new nuclear industry and that would be close if not over a trillion dollars. What is left is not very impressive with Zubrin’s nuclear salt water rocket just plain crazy dangerous and Nuclear Thermal a pathetic waste of money and fissionable material as it produces an Isp only about twice that of a chemical rocket.
My view has always been colored by my military experience and goes like this; The Apollo 1 fire was the end of the space age before it even began. On that day Aerospace concerns realized that Human Space Fight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO) was going to be hard money. They chose the easy money of cold war toys. You can have a whole list of weapons systems costing hundreds of billions of dollars and they don’t have to work very well and can fall out of the sky regularly, and even kill a fair number of people, and the money keeps coming. Not so with Spaceships. They have to work. It is simple greed that has kept humankind from expanding into space and it is simple greed that is now overheating and wrecking the planet. We are in big trouble because mammon is the god of this world and could care less whether we destroy ourselves. Perhaps the best example is Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars. To this day his gift to the defense industry, free money forever in the form of missile defense, continues. It does not work yet billions are spent on it every year. Ironically, Reagan joked about an alien threat from space that would unify humankind against a common enemy when it was already being theorized in the 1980’s a meteor impact killed the dinosaurs off. Yet 40 years later we have no defense against this alien threat. We only have a faux defense against other humans. 40 years after Climate Change was identified as a threat to civilization and mentioned by Gerard K. O’Neill as one reason to pursue Space Solar Power, we are instead pandering to rural video gamers with smallsat megaconstellations.
So I am sorry, I cannot join in the fun with you. I have children and their children are in danger. The species is in danger. If all that matters are billionaire hobbyist enterprises, we are doomed.
In my view we should be using robot landers to derive water from lunar ice, convert some of it into propellants, and shuttle cosmic ray water shielding up to double-hulled “Fat Workshops” in lunar orbit. The SLS should be sending these Fat Workshops and robot landers to the Moon long before any humans. When we have radiation sanctuaries with full cosmic ray shields then send the astronauts. Connect these workshops into “Bola” stations with tether-generated-artificial-gravity systems and the astronauts could stay in space for years without any ill effects. This crew compartment pipeline would be used to create fleets of Lunar Cyclers and Spaceships along with Space Stations. That is the prerequisite to any permanent human presence Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO).
The best plan is robot landers deriving water and converting some of that to propellants to ferry water up to double-hull “Fat Workshops” in lunar orbit, even if it takes several years to get these radiation sanctuaries set up. When we have a place to put astronauts that is a Near Sea Level Radiation environment and thus completely unaffected by even the worst solar storm, THEN send astronauts. The second part is to attach two of the workshops together with a tether system and spin it for 1G. Once we have a “Bola Station”, and even better, several of them, in operation, everything becomes easier. Astronauts could live in these NSLR1G stations for years with near zero dosing and no debilitation, the only problem then being psychological limitations. Thousands of tons of water make growing food and a closed loop life support system practical.
The third part is a Lunar Cycler fleet that will allow shielded travel to and from the Earth and Moon every week or so. I would say THEN everything becomes far easier as we will have constructed shielded habitats of some type on the Moon itself and can finally start landing people. Something like ten years to establish a permanent base.
Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO) is about the humans first and dosing and debilitation can only be addressed by providing a NSLR1G environment. Sending people out in tin cans to suffer permanent damage is not accomplishing anything. There really is NOTHING in space to accomplish with humans except space colonization and the only way to finance that is by powering civilization with Space Solar Power. O’Neill is to space what Einstein was to physics.
He figured it out.
Unfortunately, the Megaproject of all megaprojects is not interesting anyone…even with Climate Change catastrophe on the way. We need 4.4 percent of the federal budget like Apollo…. just to get started.
What to do?
Being a “believer” in the NewSpace god is really just taking the mark of the beast. Musk is the antichrist of space colonization.