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HOW SPACE HAS BECOME OMNIPRESENT WORK IN PROGRESS
PART 1 OF 2

 

 

 

By Joan Veon
July 12, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

The Bush Vision of Outer Space

On January 14, 2004, President George Bush announced a new vision for the U.S. civil space program based upon exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Bush signed an Executive Order to create a Commission to examine and make recommendations on implementing this new vision chaired By Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr.

President Bushe's vision calls for human and robotic missions to Moon, Mars, and beyond by completing the International Space Station, phasing out the Space Shuttle when the International Space Station is complete (about 2010), sending a robotic orbiter and lander to the Moon, sending a human expedition to the Moon as early as 2015, but no later than 2020, conducting robotic missions to Mars in preparation for a future human expedition; and conducting robotic exploration across the solar system.

In order to achieve the President's goals, the 60 page Commission report relies on public-private partnerships with significant private sector and international investment. The NASA Centers are to be reconfigured as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers to enable innovation, to work with the private sector, and to stimulate economic development. The report states that in order to sustain the long-term exploration of the solar system a robust space industry will be needed in which it will produce new products through the creation of new knowledge, and lead the world in invention and innovation. The author of The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury, testified to the Commission about the importance of exploration.

The report explains that the goal of America’s current military strength and economic security rests on technological leadership and America will build and lead in technological skills. Furthermore, since it is a long-term goal, the Bush vision calls for “a journey, not a race” as he has invited “other nations to join us on this journey, in the spirit of cooperation and friendship.” The vision is a “go as you can pay” plan. In this regard, NASA’s relationship to the private sector, its organizational structure, business culture, and management processes, must be decisively transformed to implement the new, multi-decadal space exploration vision. Private industry will have to have a far larger presence in space operations and for them to assume the primary role of providing services to NASA with regard to accessing low-Earth orbit. NASA has concluded 4000 agreements with over 100 nations and international organizations since its inception and over the last year, concluded 100 new international agreements.

Furthermore, the Commission believes that the commercialization of space should become a primary focus of the vision and that the creation of a space-based industry will be a benefit of the Bush vision. This is why NASA will rely on private industry to completely be responsible for and to develop the initial low-Earth orbit launch services.

In this regard, there is a race for space which includes a race for satellite communications, human flight, environmental satellites, earth observation satellites, nuclear power in space, and basically the control of space.

The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Recently the 49th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space-COPULOS concluded their meetings in Vienna, Austria. The United Nations has a massive set of offices in Vienna which house the United Nations Office on Outer Space, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Furthermore, OPEC Is headquartered there.

But exactly WHAT is COPULOS? The United Nations has been involved in space since 1958 when it created the UN Outer Space Committee-UNOOSA to encourage peaceful uses of outer space. Since that time, it has held three Congresses: UNISPACE I in 1968, UNISPACE II in 1982 and UNISPACE in 1999. There are two committees that are part of UNOOSA: The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Furthermore, there is the Working group on the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space. Furthermore there is a growing body of Outer Space Law that is evolving.

At the 49th meeting of CUPULOS, the agenda items included ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, space for sustainable development, climate change, combating forest fires, food supply and natural disaster. Countries present testified as to what they were doing in outer space, and their positions on a number of relevant issues. For example, the representative from the Ukraine, discussed their position as leading space power, that it was important to maintain space for peaceful uses, they are in favor of drafting legislation to prevent the militarization of space, they endorsed space for sustainable development and the need for coordinated action with regard to sustainable development, the fact that they have endorsed four of the five space treaties and they support a legal international regime with ways to develop space law.

In 2007, the United Nations will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Space Age, the 50th Session of COPULOS and the 40th Anniversary of the UN Outer Space Treaty, as well as the “International Heliophysical Year.”

Interestingly enough, in 1992 the United Nations held their UN Conference on the Environment and Development-UNCED in Rio de Janeiro. It was at this meeting the UN unveiled their evil Orwellian agenda for controlling the population of the world through a concept known as sustainable development and for controlling people through the UN Treaty on Biological Diversity which is now being implemented throughout the U.S. as “Smart Growth.” With regard to the UNOOSA, the United Nations declared 1992 to be the “International Space Year.”

UNOOSA did not hold any interest for me until doing some research on sustainable development. I learned that the United Nations Office on Outer Space had been given the responsibility to carry out the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to carry out the work of sustainable development globally. What in the world does that really mean? In order to understand what is happening, we need to look at past history.

The space age began in 1957 when the Russians put men in orbit. By 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 1348 (XIII) which established the Ad Hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space which was transformed by Resolution 1472 in 1959 into a permanent body - The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space-COPUS, which began with 18 members. Today it has 68 members. [See Joan Veon in the New DVD "Under Siege"]

There are five major outer space agreements: (1) The Treaty on Principles of Governing Activities of States in Exploring and Uses of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies – known as the Outer Space Treaty. It was entered into force in 1967, (2) the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts, and the Return of Objects into Outer Space, this is known as the Rescue Agreement which was entered into force in 1968 (3) the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects which is known as the Liability Convention, entered into force in 1972, the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1976), and the Agreement Governing Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, entered into force in 1984. The U.S. has not ratified the last.

Today many organizations and special agencies within the United Nations rely on space for their projects: Food and Agriculture-FAO which established the Remote Sensing Centre in Rome in 1980 for surveying crops, providing early warning of adverse weather and natural disasters along with fisheries, forestry, rangelands, and agriculture; the International Maritime Organization-IMO is involved in satellite communications systems to aid navigation and provide distress alerts from ships as part of maritime search and rescue; the International Telecom Union provides technical expertise and other assistance in developing satellite communications; the United Nations Development Program has funded hundreds of space applications since 1964 and uses satellite imagery to report on and forecast the movements of desert locust swarms; UN Disaster Relief uses portable satellite transmitters to allow a relief officer on site in a disaster area to transmit detailed information about priority relief; United Nations Environmental Programme uses high-resolution satellite images to produce data for urban planning and management; the World Health Organization uses satellites to control vector-borne diseases in tropical countries and the World Maritime Organization tracks the weather through its World Weather Watch Program.

The figures for how many satellites are in orbit appear to differ. One source said there are over 700 spacecraft in space with active satellites in lower earth orbit and higher earth orbit, However, the internet site, The Space Monitor said as of 2001, there were over 2,675 in outer space. The two top countries with satellites are the Commonwealth of Independent States with 1,335 and the U.S. with 741, followed by Japan’s 66 and France's 31. China has 27 and India has 20. Top satellite corporations are: Iridium, Intelsat, Globalstar, Orbcom, and the European Space Agency.

Country Involvement

The key players today in outer space are: The United States, Russia, the European Union, Japan, India and China. Because of the cost, many developing countries cannot afford to participate and this Committee reflects the problems of all of the UN: the rich against the poor, the developed nations against the developing. Many countries do not attend the meetings of CUPULOS because of cost and power.

Activities by various countries include: Brazil tried to launch a rocket in 2003 but it experienced rocket launch failure and killed 21 people. China has both civilian and military space technology with goals of developing an earth observation system, satellite navigation and positioning system, an independent telecommunications satellite network, and a complete satellite remote-sensing application system. Recently the U.S. began talks with China about space.

The U.S. helped India set up its rocket launch station in the 1960s and India and the U.S. have signed more than 100 space agreements in the past. In 1980, India became the ninth country and first developing nation to design and launch their own satellite. The U.S. recently signed an accord to cooperate with them on an unmanned moon mission and India plans to launch their first unmanned lunar mission in 2007-08. India has plans to go to the Moon and Mars.

Iran established its space agency in 2003 in order to conduct “research, design and implementation" in the field of space technology. While they currently have limited space capabilities, they have received technological help from Russia, China, North Korea, India and Italy.

Israel established their space agency in 1983, and in 1988 the U.S. and Israel developed the Arrow missile defense system through joint cooperation and funding. In 2005, they sold Arrow-2 technology to India which is the largest consumer of Israeli-manufactured weapons.

Japan became the fourth country to launch a satellite in 1970 and has been actively working with the U.S. on missile defense since 1999. They are proceeding with the development of a two-layer missile defense shield, using two U.S.-made systems: the sea based Aegis Standard Missile-3 and the land-based Patriot PAC-3.

Russia was the first country in space in 1957 with the successful launch of their Sputnik space vehicle. They have developed both advance launch vehicles and military space capabilities. Currently the U.S. and Russia are the two major partners in the International Space Station.

The United Kingdom was the sixth country to orbit a satellite in 1971. In 2003, the U.K. signed a Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Framework Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. that represents the basis for U.S.-U.K. industrial collaboration on missile defense.

The United States was second in outer space. The 2006 budget stands at $16.5B which is far more than any other country with future expansions up to $25B by 2010. The U.S. Department of Defense oversees the U.S. military space programs and is responsible for military space operations and missile early warning and defense. The Air Force, Army, and Navy are major participants in military.

The U.S. currently has close to 60 different types of space missions which include the following: Aqua (water) which is a NASA Earth Science satellite missions to collection information about the Earth’s water cycle, the Aura Mission dedicated to the health of Earth’s atmosphere, CALIPSO which will provide the next generation of climate observations, the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn, CloudSat which is cloud-profiling the clouds; Cluster ESA/NASA to carry out 3D measurements in the Earth’s Magnetosphere, Earth Observing-1 to advance land imaging and unique spacecraft technologies, Expedition 13 to the International Space Station, Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer-FUSE Mission to take a look at light in the far ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer Mission to map the history of star formation in the Universe, the Hubble-to expand our knowledge of the cosmos, Jason to measure ocean surface topography, Mars Express to search for subsurface water from orbit, Mars Exploration Rovers to explore the Martian landscape, Mars Odyssey to map the mineralogy and morphology of the surface of Mars, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to determine whether long-standing bodies of water ever existed on Mars, the MESSENGER Mission to study Mercury, the New Horizons which began its journey across the solar system to conduct flyby studies of Pluto and its moon, Pioneer to journey through our solar system and beyond, Polar Mission to obtain data from both high-and low-altitude perspectives of the polar region of geospace, the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment to provide measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation, the Space Shuttle, Swift to learn more about gamma-ray bursts, and the International Space Station.

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Sustainable Development and the UN Millennium Development Goals

Interestingly enough, the U.S. has agreed with the role of space technology in meeting the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development-WSSD. There were 12 specific references incorporated into the document so that the observations of the earth from space would have a better understanding of earth and its systems. It was suggested by the outgoing president of CUPLOS, Dr. Abiodun from Nigeria that the UNOOSA should get closer to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development which has responsibility for carrying out AGENDA 21 from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. For part two click below. [See DVD "Liberty or Sustainable Development"]

Click here for part -----> 2.

© 2006 Joan Veon - All Rights Reserved

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Joan Veon is a businesswoman and international reporter, having covered 75 Global meetings around the world in the last ten years. Please visit her website: www.womensgroup.org. To get a copy of her WTO report, send $10.00 to The Women's International Media Group, Inc. P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769. For an information packet, please call 301-371-0541

E-Mail: jveon@adelphia.net


 

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In 2007, the United Nations will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Space Age, the 50th Session of COPULOS and the 40th Anniversary of the UN Outer Space Treaty as well as the “International Heliophysical Year.”