Strategic Defence of the Earth raised at the Press Conference of the Heads of the Space Agencies meeting in Quebec City
4 March 2012
(CRC)- The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) hosted the International Space Station Heads of Agencies meeting in Quebec City on March 1, 2012. At the press conference, CSA President Dr. Steve MacLean noted that with its construction completed last year, the International Space Station (ISS) has now shifted to a more productive research and applications phase which benefits not only for the 16 countries which have contributed technologies (U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.) but also the 63 countries which have contributed experiments, or which use the data obtained by the ISS’s Earth remote sensing instrumentation.
A few clear themes underlay the brief comments of the directors of the five space agencies principally involved in ISS construction (NASA, Roscosmos, the European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and CSA): first, that the ISS which is capable of operation until 2028 has only begun to demonstrate its potential benefits for mankind; and second, that the international cooperation (which they indicated should also be extended to other nations such as China and India) has overcome many obstacles to give mankind a doorway into the solar system, and that this cooperation must be continued.
Although it was not addressed by the heads of the five space agencies, one could sense that they knew that this international cooperation is becoming increasingly impossible as the governments of their nations respond to the ongoing collapse of the hopelessly bankrupt international financial system by cutting investment into everything, including their space programs. Thus, while CSA President Steve MacLean praised the decision of Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis to extend its commitment to the ISS until 2020, like NASA and the space programs of other ISS partners, CSA’s budget for 2012-2013 is expected to see a 16.9% cut in funding.
Consequently, when a Canadian Press reporter asked whether the partnership is strong enough to pursue plans to go beyond the ISS’s low Earth orbit capabilities, NASA administrator Charles Bolden responded that it would be premature to talk of ISS beyond 2020.
Another participant mentioned the interest of Canadian mining companies in collaborating with CSA to develop robotically-controlled vehicles which can mine the resources of the Moon and other planets, and asked what conditions would have to be met to make this possible. MacLean pointed to the possibilities of mining water and ilmenite (a mixed oxide of iron and titanium) on the Moon and methane on Mars, but left unsaid how this would be possible in a collapsing global economy.
EIR correspondent David Gosselin brought in a needed focus on the bigger strategic picture by noting that Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin has recently called for a collaboration between the United States, Russia and other nations on a Strategic Defence of Earth (SDE). An echo of Lyndon LaRouche’s SDI proposal announced on March 23, 1983 by then President Ronald Reagan for a crash program to develop an anti-ballistic missile system based upon new physical principles such as controlled thermonuclear fusion, high energy lasers and particle beams, the SDE would expand the goal to protect mankind from extraterrestrial threats to our existence from such things as asteroids.
Addressing NASA administrator Charles Bolden and Roscosmos Director Vladimir Popovkin, he noted that given the threat of war in Iran and Syria which has the potential to become a global war involving thermonuclear weapons, wouldn’t this be an opportunity for nations to abandon the policies which have lead to the present global economic collapse and achieve the fundamental scientific breakthroughs required to secure mankind’s future? He added that the scientific community has a responsibility to recruit the population and elected officials to understand the importance of science, and therefore shouldn’t the development of controlled thermonuclear fusion, and a mission to develop the Moon and Mars be seen as a moral question rather than a matter of budgets?
NASA administrator Bolden, who clearly was not prepared to publicly consider either the danger of thermonuclear war, or that it can only be dealt with by re-enacting Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 Glass-Steagall Banking Act to return to a regulated commercial banking sector protected from the speculative looting of the City of London and Wall Street, flatly rejected consideration of either proposal. Roscosmos Director Popovkin said that he knows Dmitri Rogozin very well and is surprised to hear him being quoted calling for a new “Star Wars.” He said that a mission to Mars will require the development of a Road Map which will involve not only manned space flight but also a significant amount of automated instrumentation in space. [RAH]