Saturday, June 15, 2013

Space, The Final Frontier

History repeats, this time as an opportunity presents itself as only it has once before in mankind.

Pillaging every square inch of territory it could land a ship on, exterminating every culture and heritage that would not conform, and spreading untold disease and destruction in its path, now doors opened with heavy front end investment by taxpayers are being kicked down by the private sector.

In the days of colonial Europe, it was seen as ‘exploration’, unless you were the ones being explored, or more precisely, exploited. Voyages funded by monarchs and business groups alike, set sail and marched armies to plant their flag on new territories in the name of insert-deity-or-monarch’s-name-here.

With America’s mighty military budgets being directed largely to corporations who successfully dismantled NASA into a former shell of itself, the invitation has been laid at the feet of Wall Street to fund explorations (there’s that word again) to Mars and beyond. With government blessing in place, corporate greed is fuelling plans to harvest the bounty which Mars may possess, with major emphasis currently being place on mining for minerals thought to exist in unimaginable quantities.

Of course, the exploration (again?) for minerals will benefit us on Earth at the cost of destroying every ecosystem we touch on Mars. Truth is, nobody knows about the exact status of life on Mars, although the prevailing thought seems to lean toward the current existence of some simple mosses and plant life. Regardless, we will plop our equipment and resources wherever it suits us and dig until the money runs out or the project no longer provides enough fruit for our labor.

Then, after considerable time has elapsed, some rogue historian, scientist, or eccentric baron will stumble across the inevitable eureka moment when we realize we destroyed yet another planet. Only this time, it will have taken mere decades. We do seem to get better with practise, don’t we?

Interestingly enough, while wealthy nations with power are downgrading their space programs to mere facilitation status, Canada, on the other hand, has just appointed its recently retired top army officer to head up the Canadian Space Agency. Yes, an army guy to run a space program.

Now, we here at The Aphelion Times are no fortune tellers, but you must be thinking the same thing we are. Why would Canada be bucking the world trend to reduce the taxpayer’s burden for its space agency and signal a complete change in its mandate with the appointment of a military big-wig as its director?

It’s a move that the departed Ronald Reagan would be thrilled to see and probably tried to install during his administration in the White House. Could this be the rejuvenation of a space war agency for the western powers?

Only the puppeteers can know for certain.

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