Far out

I took this photo with my cell phone on February 10th 2014. I believe it's Jupiter next to our Moon. This giant planet has some interesting moons.
I took this photo with my cell phone on February 10th 2014. I believe it’s Jupiter next to our Moon. This giant planet has some interesting moons.

I happen to be one of those people that find the UFO phenomenon fascinating. Not because they are from other planets, but because they are not. There are other theories that are far more interesting than aliens, but that’s not what I’m going to write about this time, however. There are some other interesting questions that I think could become major disputes in the future.

I discovered a story a few days ago that may have started out as a Russian spokesman’s blowing off some steam, or it may have been calculated. Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian government’s official Investigative Committee, suggested in June that they could investigate the NASA moon landings. The relationship between the USA and Russia has been very tense lately, which of course may explain this comment, but it raises an interesting question.

The point Markin made may seem valid at first glance, but I don’t think Russia cares. This is just to get the attention away from something else. I believe NASA went to the moon, but there are a few conspiracy theorists that claim otherwise. It doesn’t help that NASA has been extremely careless. It does seem to be correct that hundreds of lunar rocks that NASA brought back to earth are missing, along with film footage from the 1969 Apollo-mission. This is something Markin is trying to use, I think. It would appear that some news outlets relied more on these conspiracy theories than on the more subtle Russian news story. When Daily Mail wrote about it they seemed to give the impression that Markin supported the conspiracy claim.

I don’t believe for a second that Russian authorities have the benevolent attitude they claim, but according to the same story in Moscow Times Markin suggested that what NASA brought back from the Moon are part of the legacy of humanity, and that’s why Russia wants to make an issue out of this. That’s an interesting thought, and perhaps correct.  After all, we explore space together and many consider protection against asteroids as a planetary responsibility, so why not share knowledge as well?

In another article from Popular Science Jacob Haqq-Misra suggested that when we colonise Mars we let the colonists develop without any interference from Earth. That means that the Martians will give up their citizenships as Earthlings and only Martians can own land on Mars.

This is consistent with The Outer Space Treaty from 1967, which prohibits any country from claiming territory in space. Some people seem to think that the only reason governments sign treaties is to break them, and perhaps they have a point. The US Senate just passed the Space Resource Exploration Utilization Act of 2015, and the bill gives businesses the right to keep anything they dig up from asteroids. Read about it in Washington Post.

You might say that an asteroid is different because it’s small and they sometimes even come to us, but I have a feeling it doesn’t matter how big or static the body is. There is a lot of minerals in space, including some desirable ones that we don’t have much left of. I am not sure that any treaty is going to prevent us from moving our wars into space. We could very well be our worst enemy far out there as well as here. I believe we will always be human. I’m afraid that’s what we do.

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