Letters: Whose space security?
|To imply treason to those who believe that US interests and principles are achieved by the promotion of international law and cooperative security is not responsible.|
Some of us believe that addressing global warming through a universal treaty regime is a practical approach that reinforces cooperation amongst nations and strengthens the rule of law. Others believe that letting the market protect our resources is sufficient. Some of us believe that generating universal support to prosecute those who challenge prohibitions against genocide and other crimes against humanity, as the US did at Nuremberg, brings civilized values to the forefront of public awareness and process. Others believe that such legal forums will compromise national sovereignty. Some of us believe that making sure space remains off limits to weaponization will best protect US interests by making sure debris effects of conflict do not impair our valuable intelligence capacities, making sure we don’t stimulate a new arms race, and not degrading the process of legal regimes advancing international arms control law. Others believe US military options will be compromised.
Now, clearly there are reasonable arguments on various sides of these issues. To imply treason to those who believe that US interests and principles are achieved by the promotion of international law and cooperative security is not responsible. Is he aware that war has its costs and the US leads best when others admire and want to emulate us? Is he aware that when we act like an overreaching empire we emulate the very forces our country was founded in the crucible of rebellion to overcome? Is he aware that we can indeed achieve victory by our values and not just by intimidation?
Jonathan Granoff, Esq.
I agree with the gist of Taylor Dinerman’s article, but I think that one aspect he touches on needs to be emphasized, that of the importance of the military use of space to the overall market.
Back in the early 90’s there was an attempt to establish a spaceport in Hawaii. One of the prohibitions for the use of this spaceport was that no military missions could be launched from it. It did not take long for the implication of the “no military” rule to become obvious even to the starry-eyed dreamers who thought up the Hawaii spaceport. No military mission meant that there would be no spaceport, period. Companies building boosters would not make the required investment to use a spaceport and then limit their use of the facility to non-military missions.
|Today it appears that the only hope for truly advanced space booster development lies with the US military. NASA has decided to cobble together a “new” booster based on pieces of a failed concept.|
So, the limitations on the use of the proposed spaceport were changed to no military weapons would be launched into space from Hawaii. The promoters of the spaceport then began a mad scramble to prevent being shut out of the next big launch contract, the second series of boosters being procured by the Air Force for the launch of operational Global Positioning System satellites. (At one point the Hawaii Spaceport advocates complained to the Air Force that by specifying the Eastern and Western Test Ranges safety regulations as compliance requirements for GPS launches the service was shutting out the Hawaii spaceport. The Air Force replied, “Well, is there a Hawaii Spaceport safety regulation?” Upon receiving the answer “No” the Air Force said “Well, then, we couldn’t very well specify compliance with a regulation that does not exist, could we?”)
Today there is no Hawaii Spaceport.
Even in the heyday of the “Commercial Space Era” in the mid-90’s the number of US government launches exceeded those of US commercial payload launches. Arianespace, undercutting the US launch industry at every opportunity, still complains bitterly about being shut out of US military launches; they know where the money is.
Today it appears that the only hope for truly advanced space booster development lies with the US military. NASA has decided to cobble together a “new” booster based on pieces of a failed concept. To launch the space-based lasers and other weapon systems needed to truly dominate space for military purposes will require boosters with at least twice the capability we have today.
The space launch business is quite small, and therefore terribly susceptible to the false directions that inevitably accompany various mythologies. The collective impact of such mythologies has been horrifying; the same booster that launched Sputnik is still the one most used. Cries against the “weaponization of space” is another destructive mythology that will once more retard our capabilities—and ensure that the SS-6 Sapwood remains the dominant booster for the 21st Century.