by Michael M. Hobby
NASA has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the implementation of the Constellation Program. The Constellation Program encompasses NASA's initial efforts to extend the human presence throughout the Solar System. Major elements of the Constellation Program are currently focused on providing the capability to transport humans and cargo to the moon, in support of lunar exploration missions, and to the International Space Station (ISS), while future efforts would support missions to Mars and beyond.
The Constellation Programmatic EIS has been developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and discusses the purpose and need for the development of systems needed to support these missions. See the following link for more information on the Constellation Programmatic and Environmental features either underway or completed.
Note the following from that link,
"'You do have to have an imagination," Howard says. By planning to stay on the moon, we're doing something that has never been done before. Yes, the laws of physics come into play and there are things you would love to see that just aren't physically possible, but we do need to be creative.'
His passion and imagination for spacecraft design began at an early age. A surprise to him at the time, his mother was actually delighted when she discovered he had etched the design of a spacecraft control station on the wall of his closet with a key when he was about eight years old. Howard kept his imagination churning and ended up where he belongs, designing life on the moon.
Howard believes, The sky is not the limit. The sky is where we begin.'
NASA’s Constellation Program isn’t just about building the next generation spacecraft, but launching explorers that will help us learn more about our world.
Discover the faces behind the hardware that will send humans to the moon and beyond."
We are in the development phase of an ever-expanding attempt to colonize space, both to insure mankind's survival and to increase our presence in and knowledge of the universe (and ourselves). These goals are among others necessary BEFORE we encounter intelligent species from other solar systems within our galaxy and beyond. For an example of how this might be plausibly undertaken, see the developing chapters of my newest novel, BACKUP FIVE [Hobby, Michael M., (2008-200?), http//:www.geoarchaeology.blogspot.com].
We know, for instance, that black holes can be self-regulating, such as GRS 1915. See NASA video link:
This makes astrophysical calculations possible, such as those demonstrated as far back as the Voyager program. The accuracy was so exact, that it was equivalent to firing a rifle in New York and hitting a Bulls eye in Los Angeles. However, until we have developed the understanding and technology for a Slip-stream spacecraft able to pass without danger through the Zero-Point Field (ZPF), we will be unable to test theoretical use of black holes either to “bend” or transcend the time-space continuum or acquire the data requisite for test missions.
This danger is not limited merely to space dust and potential debris belonging to as yet undetected species. As if that weren't enough, it will almost certainly require intelligent capability to alter course to avoid (IE, go around) passing through supernova which will appear and be exploding in virtual real time by the thousands, perhaps millions, whose light will not reach earth for tens or hundreds of thousands of years, but which at slipstream speeds will be instantaneous. Considerations such as these pose enormous challenges to inevitable technological development.
The supernova pictured was photographed by the Chandra in xray wavelength. It is within earth time the youngest supernova visible, only 140 years old, and thus we see it beginning to expand. At ZPF velocities, geometric multiples of the speed of light, it would appear and fully expand in microseconds.
It has been argued that the human species has not yet attained the level of progress which would ENTITLE it to survive, and that if it should, it is given that we will eventually destroy ourselves. We already have the technology to do so. However, lying in the path of an oncoming train will not stop it. One must move out of its path. An enormous percentage of religions believe, even portend, that such attempts are invalid, as soon the "end of the world" will be upon us.
While a minority consider this a mythical and implausible concept other than by an extinction event, it must still be confronted by thinking groups and individuals. My personal feeling is that governments will not only continue, but must significantly expand, programs to escape the event horizon of the next extinction event. Although this might seem inconceivably difficult to some, there are innumerable citizens and many countries around the globe, who will continue their increasing involvement in and funding of present efforts, already of historic proportions. It cannot be escaped, so much groundwork remains to be accomplished. Initial development and testing of technological components are already well within our capability.
I cannot overemphasize the geometric growth of present and as yet unenvisioned specializations required and occurring both in science and in Applied Science and Engineering Technology. To achieve these vital goals, particularly for the U.S. if Americans are sincere and even marginally serious in their desire even to achieve, far less preserve, high rank among nations they errantly regard as backward. We are rapidly falling behind for the most obvious of reasons. Education must begin in Head Start-age programs and strongly emphasize mathematics and science at the age virtually all students are most adept, teachable, and fascinated. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, in this sense = AMERICA NOT LEFT BEHIND.
We have NO children to spare.
This requires dramatic changes in both the number and academic strength of teachers in pre and post secondary education, and perhaps equally important, abandonment or fundamental revision of our Rio Grande border immigration policies and attitudes which, left unchecked, virtually assure walling ourselves in.
This also extends to millions of commonwealth children of citizens too afflicted by poverty and social handicap to fill this need in numbers of any significances. It also includes millions of children of citizens of closely tied nations such as the Philippines for the same reasons. The latter two potential reservoirs of students are immense. The importance of these considerations cannot be overstressed. Time is growly short-VERY short-for America in this regard. We fail to obfuscate policies and attitudes at national peril.
We must also remember that it is merely the false shadow of these issues, which many fear and view as crises, rather than opportunities, especially with regard to illegal or unchecked immigration. The Chinese glyph for “Crisis” translates roughly into English as Opportunity riding the dangerous wind. We must have political representatives and leaders wise enough to see the opportunity hidden within the crisis," and courageous enough not to cast it in pejoratives or in terms of class warfare.
To accommodate the apparent costs of a dramatic change of attitude and policy, we likewise need to re-focus, at a minimum, 50% of expenditures for defense into education and social programs designed to lift our nation to the level where scientific and technological leadership approaches reality, rather than the Pipe dream it currently, albeit regrettably, has become. This assertion will immediately generate an outcry from defense hawks, but allow me to give it some perspective. When I was still in my teens, I was virulently anti-communist and formed the first chapter of the largely Republican Young Americans For Freedom in Arkansas. I happened to see a program sponsored by the Young Democrats which addressed defense expenditures by our country. They had a poster board on the wall showing a horizontal bar graph of expenditures by the the U.S. at the top, and all of our "ënemies"in descending amount of expense in billions of dollars beneath. The strange thing was that the U.S. "bar" was only partially visible, because it was a black roll of some material. To emphasize the point being made, the roll was unrolled. To my astonishment even in my frame of mind at the time, when fully unrolled, it extended off the poster board and around all four walls of the entire room! Regardless of the party in power, because the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned the nation about in the '50s is a primary source of campaign contributions, all congresses not only approve military budgets, but unfailing appropriate MORE than the budget to ensure garnering of campaign contributions to ensure their continuing position in the Washington aristocracy. If we remain crippled by policies so errant and juvenile as these, which are far less important aspects of our national image and illusionary global hegemony, our continuing descent in science and technology leadership is assured. Will we (ever) be able to surmount inertia? The looming Social Security obligation of the Baby Boomers is upon us and will not subside until after 2050. Discretionary spending will vanish over the next few decades unless we rethink our priorities.
Students acquiring degrees in all rigorous fields of science and technology will not be among those who ponder their financial future. The momentum of this exponential growth is by nature unstoppable and the financial rewards guaranteed; especially if the erosion of the Middle class continues and we become a nation of a relatively small High Class elite, and an increasingly disadvantaged poor underclass majority. America's small population is distinct compared to more populous nations, from whom professionals will be otherwise be increasingly drawn. This problem is enormously exacerbated by Demographic Winter with which, sadly, most of our population is entirely unfamiliar.
This is one of many starkly obvious reasons why mankind must divert its energy from unproductive, budget-bleeding, nationalistic competition for hegemony and resource control and form a committed and efficient United Nations which can coordinate scientific and social programs at the international level. The programmatic structure and agencies are in place, but broadly speaking, need increased efficiency audits focused on both goal achievement, accountability, transparency, and elimination of corruption. Much progress toward these ends has been achieved in recent years, but much remains to be done. To this end, nationalistic expenditures must be re-channeled to the international arena. This process has also begun, but will not be fully possible until misguided patriotic and prejudicial religious and social sentiments can be successfully addressed and reversed (or eliminated). There are significant segments of our society that are likely incapable of recognizing this necessity and are thus on a path destined for increasing frustration and loss of voice in the future course of the nation. There are just too many goals which cannot be achieved by individual nations unilaterally. We must work together as a species, rather than a collective of special interests both nationally and internationally.