Is the Moon the Next Antarctica?

This article from The Space Review–with a disturbing title, as you can plainly see–just confirms what I’ve already believed for years:

“By 2030 or 2040 it may not matter if the US has flown manned missions to the Lagrange points or asteroids or not; the worldโ€™s predominant military space power will be the one with a base on the Moon. Whether that base is officially military or not within the meaning of the OST is irrelevant. Nations that lack such a base will find themselves in an inferior military position to those who do.”

Not just, I would add, inferior militarily, but also economically and politically. There is much to be gained from the asteroids and Mars, but there’s plenty on the Moon as well. What nation would care about a landing on Mars when they have the Moon, and can go to Mars at their leisure, instead of a frantic gotta-get-there “Mars-shot”? I’ve commented on the Moon before, so check the archives if you want the details, but suffice it to say that I believe that an American reluctance to return to the Moon is wrong, and that our President shows his ignorance of the subject matter by saying we shouldn’t go back because “we’ve already been there”. This from the administration that says a conference on SBSP (Space-Based Solar Power) is infeasible.

The article’s connection to Antarctica, by the way, is to suggest that perhaps a similar treaty should be used to govern the Moon, as the treaty has prevented combat in Antarctica for decades. I’m not sure if that isn’t because there’s not much of worth in Antarctica that’s at all easy to get at except scientific data like the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), but whatever. I just don’t want to see America reduced to second- or third-rate anything, much less as a spacefaring nation.

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One Response to Is the Moon the Next Antarctica?

  1. Pingback: A Space-Policy-Problem Primer « The Space Geek

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