Monday, February 11, 2008

Space Policy in the Twenty First Century: War

War affects a lot of things, including... space. However, space is one of the things that affects war back. In the days of the Cold War, the war was primarily affecting space, and the race for the moon in turn affected how people looked at the war and the powers fighting it. This went back and made its mark on the war. The Cold War was greatly a war of internal stability too. Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had to deal with raging problems of one kind or another at home, and it was ultimately the latter that couldn't deal with the problems it was coughing up and dissolved. Though the mission to the Moon, the previous, and the later missions didn't culminate in weapons and combat, they had the potential for incredible power. Though not used to nearly the fullest extent, these technologies have come to fruition. That being, there isn't much justification for using such power today. The consequences for launching an ICBM these days would be fierce, to put it very lightly. Still, defences against space-based offenses are researched and used (orbital defence systems). Back in the Cold War, there was still more direction. The book discussed the drive of Apollo, and how such motivation and money could possibly never be found again in space. That was the time when the war against communism drove America to those kinds of expenditures, but that's been over for awhile. I don't see the faintest sign or omen of a space race against Al-Qaeda.

I don't doubt that going much farther in space will require virtual world peace. Every power that has even a shred of usable resources and/or can cause chaos would need to be in on the program, or just not interrupt. A program could be anything previously mentioned, such as a mission to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto... and simply further...

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