May 3, 2010

Obama’s Moon Conspiracy

As scientists a Moon hoax has never appealed to us. Many argue that landing on the Moon is easier than faking one. We argue that going to the Moon is necessary to the US government, the many interests that operate within - and behind - it, and above all the human species.

In our minds this gives birth to a far more real conspiracy.

Like astronomy, sensing and adjusting for political distortions can sharpen the images being broadcast. When President Obama visited John F. Kennedy Space Center in April to unveil his vision of Space Exploration in the 21st Century, he had one actual job to do. Not lay out a real space vision, but sell one.

Thus a Mars and asteroid landing were deployed for “wow” factor, at which they succeeded. But their future also smashed a gaping hole in Obama’s strategy when he dismissively rejected the prospect of a new lunar voyage.

“I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before. Buzz has been there. There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do. So I believe it’s more important to ramp up our capabilities to reach - and operate at - a series of increasingly demanding targets, while advancing our technological capabilities with each step forward. And that’s what this strategy does.”

This strategy is bogus to the point where we completely doubt Obama’s sincerity. At first we were upset by the omission, but our spirits rose each time we reconsidered the possibilities. What Obama said makes no sense. A lunar landing is central to his vision, the bulk of astronomers and physicists, our own, and the countless people across the Earth working towards expanding the human species.

Which makes leaving out the Moon extremely suspicious.

Perhaps it’s just us (though we know we’re not alone), but we assume the Moon represents humanity’s first real step into the Universe. Unless we plan on leapfrogging celestial objects, a strategy that could stretch our supply chains too thin, the most logical and practical method is gradual expansion.

The Moon is the first stepping stone into the giant river of space - we aren’t going to leap over it. Here Obama tips us off again with fishy behavior.

“The challenges facing our space program are different, and our imperatives for this program are different, than in decades past. We’re no longer racing against an adversary. We’re no longer competing to achieve a singular goal like reaching the Moon.”

Exactly: a lunar “race” is no longer aimed at a terrestrial adversary, but distant comets headed for Earth. We’re no longer competing to achieve a singular goal like “reaching the Moon,” but the complex goal of colonizing it and weaving a human network into the solar system.

It’s as if Obama is speaking in code, the opposite of probable theory. He must really not want to go near the Moon to make foolish claims like “we’ve been there before” and “there’s more to study.” The Moon hasn’t been studied at all, relatively speaking.

Obama’s conclusion then tears his own logic apart.

“Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. (Applause.) And by 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space. (Applause.) So we’ll start -- we’ll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. (Applause.) By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it. (Applause.)”

Though these missions may be successful without lunar colonization, the odds of Obama “being around to see it” seem to rise with it.

Colonization is critical to interstellar expansion at every level. Here micro-gravity climates can be studied extensively and space technology perfected: base construction, transports, greenhouses, and the psychological effects of long-term space living.

Multiple spaceports will spring up in the further stages of lunar colonization, from the original landing zone to commercial, scientific, and military ports. Each will serve as logistics hubs for outer-space travel, linking up to their counterparts on Mars and possibly Venus or Mercury. Enormous time and energy can be saved if humans don’t return to the Earth for every single thing.

Sending mass quantities of supplies from the Earth to the Moon makes more sense, now easily distributed into the inner and outer solar system.

These ideas are far in the future, but lunar colonization sounds more inevitable than logical. In 100 years is anyone willing to bet humans won’t have done so? Why we would only build on Mars and stay away from the Moon? This makes no sense, so why did Obama utter such nonsense?

The US government must already have something cooking on the Moon.

We say this only partially tongue in cheek. Accepting Obama’s defense as is - "we’ve been there before" - is impossible, but maybe his weak defense covers for America being broke. Maybe he just didn’t want to admit he can only do one, not both. So adamant was he in forgetting the Moon though that we can’t help sensing a disturbance.

The question then becomes what’s the plan. Guarding a lunar base would make sense as location can make or break its future. China, the EU, Russia, and possibly India and Japan are known to be planning lunar bases. A policy of denial might be designed to cloak a US base, hard as it would be to fool foreign intelligence agencies.

The possibility also exists that Obama is guarding economic interests.

Less likely is some sort of weapons system, but when it comes to space defense no concept should be immediately discounted. After all bases need defending, and no longer are we in the land of science fiction. 2010 may not be what writers in 1910 predicted, but we’re living in an advanced world nonetheless.

Technology is evolving exponentially and we fully expect be around for a US Moon base. There may be reasons to hide one, but every reason to build one.

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