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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:57 AM
Original message
What the hell are they up to now?

New Bush Space Policy Unveiled, Stresses U.S. Freedom of Action


U.S. President George W. Bush has authorized a sweeping new national space policy, green-lighting an overarching national policy that governs the conduct of Americas space activities.

U.S. assets must be unhindered in carrying out their space duties, the Bush space policy says, stressing that freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power.

The Bush space policy supports use of space nuclear power systems to enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities. The document adds that utilization of nuclear power systems shall be consistent with U.S. national and homeland security, and foreign policy interests, and take into account the potential risks.

The policy highlights an interagency approval process for space launch and in-space use of nuclear power sources.

Additionally, the Bush space policy is designed to ensure that space capabilities are available in time to further U.S. national security, homeland security, and foreign policy objectives. Moreover, a fundamental goal of the policy is to enable unhindered U.S. operations in and through space to defend our interests there.

The policy calls upon the Secretary of Defense to develop capabilities, plans, and options to ensure freedom of action in space, and, if directed, deny such freedom of action to adversaries.

AND THEN THEY BAN JOURNALIST ACCESS TO NASA (unless they have a gov't overseer with them)......

October 10, 2006

Dr. Michael Griffin
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20546

Dear Dr. Griffin:

As journalists who cover NASA, we are deeply concerned about the new policy effective October 1 barring all news media from entering headquarters in Washington without an escort from the Office of Public Affairs. This policy, made without consultation with the media, runs directly counter to the space agency's longstanding tradition and reputation for openness and cooperation with reporters and editors.

In order to receive a NASA badge, journalists must provide detailed information as well as their fingerprints to agency security officials. The badge entitles media to meet with officials within headquarters without a constant escort. Under the new policy, the only advantage that the badge will confer is the ability to pass through security without being searched. We are unclear as to why this change was made, and the nature of the threat posed by credentialed journalists. Such tight restrictions are not imposed by most federal agencies which do not conduct classified work, or by Congress.

We note that you acted swiftly and decisively earlier this year when public affairs officers blocked access between reporters and agency scientist James Hansen. In a statement to employees February 4, you said that "NASA has always been, is, and will continue to be committed to open scientific and technical inquiry and dialogue with the public." You go on to quote the 1958 Space Act which requires the agency "to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof." We agree with your further comment that "it is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff."

It is hard to reconcile these statements with the new policy, which was announced unilaterally without request for public comment. The requirement that reporters be escorted by public affairs officers at all times within the headquarters building would unduly inhibit the flow of information between NASA employees and the media.

During your recent visit to China, you said that human space cooperation between that country and the United States "requires a great degree of trust and openness." It is both sad and ironic that even as you spoke these words, your agency was taking a step toward restricting access for those who seek to disseminate information on the nation's civil space program to the American public and the world.

We request that you rescind this ill-advised policy.


Ted Agres
Deputy Managing Editor
Washington Times

James Asker
Managing Editor
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Seth Borenstein
Science Writer
Associated Press

Nell Boyce
National Public Radio

Keith Cowing

Robert Lee Hotz
National Association of Science Writers
Staff Reporter
Los Angeles Times

John Johnson Jr.
Staff Reporter
Los Angeles Times

Warren Leary
Staff Reporter
New York Times

Colin Norman
News Editor
Science Magazine

Lon Rains
Space News

Traci Watson
News Reporter
USA Today

Rick Weiss
Staff Reporter
Washington Post

Larry Wheeler
Gannett News Service

Deborah Zabarenko


Eric Sterner, Associate Deputy Administrator, Policy and Planning, and Acting Chief of Strategic Communications
David Mould, Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs
Dean Acosta, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs
Robert "Doc" Mirelson, Newsroom Chief
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vicman Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Weapons in space
Once again, screw all the non-proliferation and peace treaties we've signed. Under this regime, America's sworn word is worthless.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. Halliburton must have a new Division ...
... some Bush crony, somewhere, needs a shitload of money ... "federal contracts", y'know ...

either that or there's some new kind of spy satellite they're trying to sneak out without actually being honest about it ...
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Waya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. An extention of......
.....we fight them 'over there' so we don't have to fight them 'here'.....Just in case Al Quaeda & Co expands their operations to space..... :crazy:
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's the bunker-busters. I'm sure of it.
Just as any missile defense system is doomed to failure because an enemy will simply overwhelm the system with targets, so too are conventional bunker-busting bombs doomed to failure because a savvy enemy will simply dig deeper than the bombs can go. One can dig many hundreds of feet deep before temperatures become intolerable.

North Korea is almost certainly an example of this. They've already dug a ridiculously huge system of tunnels for a future invasion of South Korea. Kim Jong Il would be a sucker if he didn't utilize the gopher-like ability of his armed forces to place nuclear weapons storage and production facilities deep underground. Similarly, Osama bin Laden escaped the wrath of American B-52s by digging deep.

In its typically retarded fashion, the Bush Administration immediately sought a solution in nuclear weapons. That's such a stupid idea I don't know where to begin, but the short version is this: an unacceptable level of fallout is created by detonating nuclear weapons on the ground because the earth itself is irradiated and then thrown into the air as deadly radioactive dust. If you're trying to dig into the side of a mountain with nukes, you're going to create so much radioactive fallout that the repercussions could be world-wide.

But there is a far simpler and more elegant solution, one well within the capabilities of our space and defense industries. The solution is hiding in one of the few equasions I actually remember from that physics class I failed in college: E = mv^2. Energy equals mass times the square of the velocity. It's more or less the same equasion that Einstein used to describe relativity: E = mc^2.

You don't need much mass if the velocity the object has is large. The way to get that velocity is to de-orbit a pole-shaped object from space and let gravity do much of the work. As the object falls, it gains velocity, and stores up huge amounts of energy. When it hits the ground, that energy is released. Depending on the size--and especially the speed--of the object, the energy released can be huge.

How big? In theory, nuke big, but without the radioactivity.

More importantly, the so-called "rods from God" can in theory turn the tunnel-digging paradox on its head. Beyond a certain depth the earth's crust is too hot to sustain human life--beyond that, the earth's crust ends and digging is not possible at all. A succession of kinetic energy weapons, however, could pound one after the other into the same spot and easily dig to that terminal depth.

So digging becomes as senseless as a missile defense system.

However, there is one thing which currently renders such an idea useless, and that's the current prohibitive cost of placing objects in space. There's no real reason why it has to be so expensive; it's mainly that the United States has to date refused to invest the time and the money into perfecting a cheap and reliable launch system. A space elevator would make kinetic energy weapons dirt cheap. But right now, they would be very expensive, even if they're perfectly feasible.

I'm certain that the monkey business that the Bush Administration is pulling with NASA is directly related to the development and rapid deployment of kinetic energy weapons. I'm further certain that part of the attraction is that some of the Defense Department's spending can be offloaded onto the civilian space agency in order to hide the development costs. That move will of course be done at the expense of civilian space exploration, which the Bush Administration does not give a shit about except as election-time bait.
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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. Send him to space! Great idea!
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:13 AM by npincus
gives new meaning to the word 'ASS-teroid".
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. Construction project in space:
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