Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars Episode Three

The Union Of Concerned Scientists have now voiced their opposition to the proposed new Bush Administration plans to weaponize space. Not only citing the possible new space arms race this could create, but also citing the extreme cost compared to ground based weapons could be just as effective if the technology existed in supported the weapons plans. The problem is just that, the technology is just not there. After 22, years and $100 billion dollars, every test of an effective ground based antiballistic missile system testing has either been flawed or only effective if very tightly choregraphed with two missiles on a virtual string to ram one another.

Realisticly, the cost of any space based weapons system would be very prohibitively expensive. Some plans for a workable antiballistic missile shield of interceptors would have to involve multiple launchings of as many as 1000 space shields, and could cost as much as $100 billion dollars. With a current launch schedule of only as many as 12 large rockets by the U.S. each year to launch satellites, the U.S. would have to dramaticly increase the number of launches per year. And of course this increases the possibility of rocket accidents. If uranuim or other nuclear product rockets are launched, the possibility of nuclear debris hitting the land or ocean are greatly increased with an agressive launch schedule. The Space Shuttle program for example has had fatal accidents involving 50% of the four existing Space Shuttle vehicles.

And if the technology supported the "Rods From God" weapon system, which would fire uranium rods from space at 7,200 miles per hour, with a nuclear bomb type destruction resulting, the cost would be as much as 100 times the cost of comparable ground based missile systems that could be launched at targets including cruise missiles. Other than safety concerns for American pilots who carry out manned bombing missions, there is very little advantage of this SciFi based "Rods From God" weapon proposal. However, so many ground based cruise missiles or other current satellite guided systems already exist, so with such a lag in technology not ready to keep up with the plans for such space based weapons, then little real reason exists to commit vast amounts of funds for weapons that cannot be currently developed as the technology is simply not there yet. And in most cases, as the "Shock And Awe" campaign against Iraq proved, manned bombing missions can be greatly reduced by current cruise missile technology. An offensive, rather than defensive weapon like the "Rods From God" concept has little advantage, and every cost and technology lag disadvantage.

But under recommendations from Donald Rumsfeld in a report given to President Bush, in 2002 the United States withdrew from it's long membership in the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. China and Russia have both sought U.N. support for a new resolution or new treaty banning the weaponization of space. In the LBJ days of 1967, the United States was a signing party to a world treaty not to station weapons of mass destruction in space. And with the "handshake in space" during the Ford Administration, an increasingly cooperative space efforts between the U.S. and first the former Soviet Union, and now the Russian Republic has been taking place.

Space is simply a great creation of God. And it is an area of great science exploration and cooperation for the world community. This is simply not an appropriate place to pollute with the evils of space weapons. The Heavens are part of God's own front porch. His home must be respected in Space.

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