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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:59PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Keep-your-hands-off-of-my-stash dept.

Could corporations control territory in space? Under new US rules, it might be possible:

First, the Artemis Accords go beyond simply rejecting the unpopular 1979 Moon Agreement, which declared lunar resources to be the "common heritage of mankind" and committed parties to establish an international regime to oversee space mining. Only 18 countries have signed the treaty.

In its place, the accords envisage a US-centric framework of bilateral agreements in which "partner nations" agree to follow US-drafted rules.

Second, the accords introduce the concept of "safety zones" around lunar operations.

Although territorial claims in space are prohibited under international law, these safety zones would seek to protect commercial and scientific sites from inadvertent collisions and other forms of "harmful interference". What kinds of conduct could count as harmful interference remains to be determined.

Previously:
(2020-06-02) Third European Service Module for Artemis Mission to Land Astronauts on the Moon
(2020-05-16) NASA Wants Partner Nations to Agree to "Artemis Accords" for Lunar Exploration
(2020-03-12) CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
(2018-07-22) Who Owns The Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers
(2018-03-07) China to Recruit Civilian Astronauts, Partner With Russia on Upcoming Missions
(2018-01-09) Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway
(2017-10-18) Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022
(2015-11-26) Who Owns Space? USA's Asteroid-Mining Act is Dangerous and Potentially Illegal

Robert Heinlein explored the notion in a novel. Does the future of space exploration lie with governments or corporations?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Who Owns Space? USA's Asteroid-Mining Act is Dangerous and Potentially Illegal 40 comments

An event of cosmic proportions occurred on November 18 when the US congress passed the Space Act of 2015 into law. The legislation will give US space firms the rights to own and sell natural resources they mine from bodies in space, including asteroids.

Although the act, passed with bipartisan support, still requires President Obama's signature, it is already the most significant salvo that has been fired in the ideological battle over ownership of the cosmos. It goes against a number of treaties and international customary law which already apply to the entire universe.

The new law is nothing but a classic rendition of the "he who dares wins" philosophy of the Wild West. The act will also allow the private sector to make space innovations without regulatory oversight during an eight-year period and protect spaceflight participants from financial ruin. Surely, this will see private firms begin to incorporate the mining of asteroids into their investment plans.

The act represents a full-frontal attack on settled principles of space law which are based on two basic principles: the right of states to scientific exploration of outer space and its celestial bodies and the prevention of unilateral and unbridled commercial exploitation of outer-space resources. These principles are found in agreements including the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and the Moon Agreement of 1979.

I learned everything I need to know about asteroid mining from Rip Foster. [Read it at Project Gutenberg. -Ed.]


Original Submission

Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022 16 comments

In a move intended to align with the National Space Council's call for NASA to return to the Moon, the United Launch Alliance intends to launch a Bigelow Aerospace B330 inflatable module into low Earth orbit, and later boost it into lunar orbit using a rocket which can have propellant transferred to it from another rocket:

Bigelow Aerospace, a company devoted to manufacturing inflatable space habitats, says it's planning to put one of its modules into orbit around the Moon within the next five years. The module going to lunar space will be the B330, Bigelow's design concept for a standalone habitat that can function autonomously as a commercial space station. The plan is for the B330 to serve as something of a lunar depot, where private companies can test out new technologies, or where astronauts can stay to undergo training for deep space missions.

"Our lunar depot plan is a strong complement to other plans intended to eventually put people on Mars," Robert Bigelow, president of Bigelow Aerospace, said in a statement. "It will provide NASA and America with an exciting and financially practical success opportunity that can be accomplished in the short term."

To put the habitat in lunar orbit, Bigelow is looking to get a boost from the United Launch Alliance. The B330 is slated to launch on top of ULA's future rocket, the Vulcan, which is supposed to begin missions no earlier than 2019. The plan is for the Vulcan to loft the B330 into lower Earth orbit, where it will stay for one year to demonstrate that it works properly in space. During that time, Bigelow hopes to send supplies to the station and rotate crew members in and out every few months.

After that, it'll be time to send the module to the Moon. ULA will launch two more Vulcan rockets, leaving both of the vehicles' upper stages in orbit. Called ACES, for Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage, these stages can remain in space, propelling other spacecraft to farther out destinations. ULA plans to transfer all of the propellant from one ACES to the other, using the fully fueled stage to propel the B330 the rest of the way to lunar orbit.

The B330 is the giant version of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Previously: Moon Base Could Cost Just $10 Billion Due to New Technologies
Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again?
How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
Buzz Aldrin: Retire the ISS to Reach Mars
China to Send Potato Farming Test Probe to the Moon
Stephen Hawking Urges Nations to Pursue Lunar Base and Mars Landing
Lockheed Martin Repurposing Shuttle Cargo Module to Use for Lunar Orbiting Base (could they be joined together?)
ESA Expert Envisions "Moon Village" by 2030-2050
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to Continue Stay at the International Space Station


Original Submission

Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway 8 comments

Deep Space Gateway (DSG) is a planned space station in lunar orbit. The U.S. and Russia signed an agreement last year to work on the station's development. Now Russia has created an engineering department inside the RKK Energia space corporation in order to plan the nation's lunar exploration, including a possible manned landing:

Officially, Moscow has been on a path to put a human on the Moon since 2013, when President Putin approved a general direction for human space flight in the coming decade. The program had been stalling for several years due to falling prices for oil, the main source of revenue for the Russian budget. Last year, however, the Russian lunar exploration effort was given a new impetus when the Kremlin made a strategic decision to cooperate with NASA on the construction of a habitable outpost in the orbit around the Moon, known as Deep Space Gateway, DSG.

Although the US saw the primary goal of the DSG as a springboard for missions to Mars, NASA's international partners, including Russia, have been pushing the idea of exploring the Moon first. On the Russian side, RKK Energia led key engineering studies into the design of the DSG and participated in negotiations with NASA on sharing responsibilities for the project.

To coordinate various technical aspects of lunar exploration, the head of RKK Energia Vladimir Solntsev signed an order late last year to form Center No. 23Ts, which would report directly to him. According to a document seen by Ars Technica, the group will be responsible for developing long-term plans for human missions to the vicinity of the Moon and to its surface, as well as for implementing proposals for international cooperation in lunar missions. This is a clear signal that NASA might soon have a new liaison in Russia for all things related to the DSG. The same group will also take care of all the relevant domestic interactions between RKK Energia and its subcontractors.

Unlike the ISS, the DSG should not require any orbital boost burns and could reach any altitude above the Moon using ion thrusters.

Here are two op-eds from last year about the Deep Space Gateway:

Terry Virts: The Deep Space Gateway would shackle human exploration, not enable it

John Thornton: The Deep Space Gateway as a cislunar port

Related articles:


Original Submission

China to Recruit Civilian Astronauts, Partner With Russia on Upcoming Missions 4 comments

China will begin recruiting civilians for crewed space missions, rather than limiting the space program to military personnel:

China will begin recruiting civilian astronauts for its military-backed space program and plans to increase the number of crewed missions to around two a year, a top official with the country's space program said.

China's third batch of astronaut trainees will include recruits from industry, research institutions and universities who will help build and crew China's independent space station, Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of China's ceremonial parliament.

Russia and China have agreed to collaborate on future missions:

Russia and China have agreed to create a joint data center for lunar and deep space projects, Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced. The projects will involve Russian and Chinese scientific and industrial bodies and companies, Roscosmos said in a statement on Saturday.

Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) also signed an agreement of intent on cooperation over moon and deep space research, at the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in Tokyo. The countries will also look into the possibilities of providing assistance for each other's lunar programs. That would include the launch of the Russian Luna-26 orbiter in 2022, and the Chinese planned landing on the south pole of the moon scheduled for 2023.

Both countries attended the International Space Exploration Forum in Tokyo (ISEF2), where international agreements were signed. The next forum will be held in Italy in 2021.


Original Submission

Who Owns The Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers 26 comments

Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

[...] Still, the simple answer to the question of whether Armstrong and Aldrin by way of their small ceremony did transform the moon, or at least a major part thereof, into U.S. territory turns out to be “no.” They, nor NASA, nor the U.S. government intended the U.S. flag to have that effect.

Most importantly, that answer was enshrined in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which both the United States and the Soviet Union as well as all other space-faring nations, had become a party. Both superpowers agreed that “colonization” on Earth had been responsible for tremendous human suffering and many armed conflicts that had raged over the last centuries. They were determined not to repeat that mistake of the old European colonial powers when it came to decide on the legal status of the moon; at least the possibility of a “land grab” in outer space giving rise to another world war was to be avoided. By that token, the moon became something of a “global commons” legally accessible to all countries—two years prior to the first actual manned moon landing.

So, the U.S. flag was not a manifestation of claiming sovereignty, but of honoring the U.S. taxpayers and engineers who made Armstrong, Aldrin, and third astronaut Michael Collins’ mission possible. The two men carried a plaque that they “came in peace for all mankind,” and of course Neil’s famous words echoed the same sentiment: his “small step for man” was not a “giant leap” for the United States, but “for mankind.” Furthermore, the United States and NASA lived up to their commitment by sharing the moon rocks and other samples of soil from the lunar surface with the rest of the world, whether by giving them away to foreign governments or by allowing scientists from all over the globe to access them for scientific analysis and discussion. In the midst of the Cold War, this even included scientists from the Soviet Union.

Case closed, no need for space lawyers anymore then? No need for me to prepare University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s space law students for further discussions and disputes on the lunar law, right?

CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12 93 comments

Even though it has only been a short while since our last round-up there are 22 separate stories merged into this round-up. Many report duplicate news but, nevertheless, we have tried to distill the important elements of each submission.

Firstly, there is some confusion regarding the actual names that are reported for the virus, the disease that it causes, and names frequently seen in media reporting. From https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0695-z:

The present outbreak of a coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is the third documented spillover of an animal coronavirus to humans in only two decades that has resulted in a major epidemic. The Coronaviridae Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the classification of viruses and taxon nomenclature of the family Coronaviridae, has assessed the placement of the human pathogen, tentatively named 2019-nCoV, within the Coronaviridae. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG recognizes this virus as forming a sister clade to the prototype human and bat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, and designates it as SARS-CoV-2.

In order to facilitate communication, the CSG proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/host/location/isolate/date. While the full spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined, the independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying viruses at the species level to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This will improve our understanding of virus–host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.

There is much more information at the link provided.

Secondly, as this is a fusion of stories received over the last week or so take all quoted figures of casualties as possibly out-of-date. At the time of merging these stories (12 Mar 20) there have been 127,863 confirmed cases world-wide resulting in 4,717 deaths. 68,309 people have already recovered with the remainder either in self-imposed or advisory isolation, in basic hospital care and a relatively small number in critical care. The pandemic has affected 116 countries/regions. Source: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 - a graphical display produced by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Many countries have taken emergency measures to restrict travel or large gatherings of people. As this is a very fluid situation we suggest you refer to the media of any specific country in which you have an interest. President Trump has banned transatlantic air travel from countries in mainland Europe to the USA from Friday 2020-03-13 at 23:59 (no timezone stated) for a period initially of 30 days, and air travel within Europe is also significantly disrupted.

NASA Wants Partner Nations to Agree to "Artemis Accords" for Lunar Exploration 27 comments

NASA's 'Artemis Accords' set forth new and old rules for outer space cooperation

NASA's plan to return to the Moon is ambitious enough on its own, but the agency is aiming to modernize international cooperation in space in the process. Today it published a summary of the "Artemis Accords," a new set of voluntary guidelines that partner nations and organizations are invited to join to advance the cause of exploration and industry globally.

Having no national affiliation or sovereignty of its own, space is by definition lawless. So these are not so much space laws as shared priorities given reasonably solid form. Many nations already take part in a variety of agreements and treaties, but the progress of space exploration (and soon, colonization and mining, among other things) has outpaced much of that structure. A fresh coat of paint is overdue and NASA has decided to take up the brush.

[...] First, the rules that could be considered new. NASA and partner nations agree to:

  • Publicly describe policies and plans in a transparent manner.
  • Publicly provide location and general nature of operations to create "Safety Zones" and avoid conflicts.
  • Use international open standards, develop new such standards if necessary and support interoperability as far as is practical.
  • Release scientific data publicly in a full and timely manner.
  • Protect sites and artifacts with historic value. (For example, Apollo program landing sites, which have no real lawful protection.)
  • Plan for the mitigation of orbital debris, including safe and timely disposal of end-of-life spacecraft.

Also at The Verge, Ars Technica, and Reuters.


Original Submission

Third European Service Module for Artemis Mission to Land Astronauts on the Moon 10 comments

Third European Service Module for Artemis Mission to Land Astronauts on the Moon:

It's official: when astronauts land on the Moon in 2024 they will get there with help from the European Service Module. The European Space Agency signed a contract with Airbus to build the third European Service Module for NASA's Orion spacecraft that will ferry the next astronauts to land on the Moon.

NASA's Artemis program is returning humans to the Moon with ESA's European Service Module supplying everything needed to keep the astronauts alive on their trip in the crew module – water, air, propulsion, electricity, a comfortable temperature as well as acting as the chassis of the spacecraft.

The third Artemis mission will fly astronauts to Earth's natural satellite in 2024 – the first to land on the Moon since Apollo 17 following a hiatus of more than 50 years.

ESA's director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker said: "By entering into this agreement, we are again demonstrating that Europe is a strong and reliable partner in Artemis. The European Service Module represents a crucial contribution to this, allowing scientific research, development of key technologies, and international cooperation – inspiring missions that expand humankind's presence beyond Low Earth Orbit."

[...] The first European Service Module is being handed over to NASA at their Kennedy Space Center for an uncrewed launch next year, and the second is in production at the Airbus integration hall in Bremen, Germany.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:09PM (#1002743)

    Getting people in space to gather resources is a good thing, whatever their motive. This is a big step towards real post-scarcity. Let the capitalists capitalize until the capital disappears, as long as they're doing something productive.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:17PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:17PM (#1002748)

    suppose the rule made on earth sayz:"you need to sit on a moon chair, at a moon desk, writting and signing the moon document ON the moon with a moon pen"?

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54PM (#1002769)

      The Lunar Ink Party... in zero-G.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM (#1002819)

      while eating a Moon Pie

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by sonamchauhan on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:19PM

      by sonamchauhan (6546) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:19PM (#1002964)

      Remember to stand up and do the moonwalk every hour!

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday June 05 2020, @07:04PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday June 05 2020, @07:04PM (#1003898) Journal

      And signing Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) the whole time.

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:26PM (20 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:26PM (#1002752) Journal
    I notice that the exciting, eye-catching title doesn't get mentioned anywhere in the body of the story. I guess phys.org strikes again.

    And what exactly is supposed to be concerning about "controlling territory"? Anyone who owns their own house controls territory. Now, if the implication is that corporations can create their own armed forces, and start wars, well, maybe we should look at the rules that are intended to regulate that sort of thing rather than rules that aren't?

    Bottom line, at least for the US, is that one has a lot of latitude in creating a private militia, mercenary group, or other low grade military force, but very little latitude in what they do with that force - you can't start your own wars, you can't arm them with much more than basic infantry weapons, can't police stuff, incite violence or criminal activity, etc. States impose additional restrictions as well. I see a claim [motherjones.com] that California has made it illegal to train for "guerrilla warfare or sabotage".

    Those restrictions, at least at the federal level, won't go away just because someone is in space. So let's suppose I start my own space mining corp and at some point, create a military force (let's say the pretext is defending my operations from pirates, who would be non-state actors). As I noted above, there's already a bunch of law in the US restricting my use of that force. And there's two huge Earth-side levers to insure my cooperation - assets on Earth owned by the corporation (or by corp officers and shareholders), and trade with Earth, the biggest economy in the Solar System for centuries to come. To willfully break those laws (or just be sloppy with the exercise of force) would be to abandon the usual reasons for having a business corporation in the first place.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:47PM (8 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:47PM (#1002809)

      create their own armed forces, and start wars, well, maybe we should look at the rules that are intended to regulate that sort of thing

      Historically speaking, rules don't do much to affect the development of armed forces in far-away, difficult to reach places. What matters far more than rules is the ability to project force which has the capacity to enforce those rules. With control of said force, such rules often become unnecessary or moot.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:39PM (7 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:39PM (#1002853) Journal

        What matters far more than rules is the ability to project force

        And I noted a couple of ways that could be done economically.

        • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:19PM (6 children)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:19PM (#1002940)

          You already have the situation that corporations write laws that benefit themselves, then pay your elected representatives to enact them.

          If space mining looks like being fantastically profitable, they'll be making sure those profits go to the right people.

          It is so much cheaper to put the costs of enforcing that stuff onto taxpayers. Having an army is expensive, that is why the United Fruit Company (for example) tended to use the United States Marines when they needed to suppress any slave revolts.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:51PM (5 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:51PM (#1002951) Journal

            You already have the situation that corporations write laws that benefit themselves, then pay your elected representatives to enact them.

            Sounds like something that could be a problem, but it doesn't change the fundamental dynamic. They still have an Earth-side presence and all the big money would be trading with Earth.

            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:59PM (4 children)

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:59PM (#1002956)

              True, and as they have the ability to write their own rules they will be able to ensure anything they want to do is legal, using the threat of the US military if necessary.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:09AM (3 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:09AM (#1003126) Journal
                Except, of course, when they can't do that because of other interests overriding them.
                • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:06PM (2 children)

                  by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:06PM (#1003355)

                  Like what other interests? The voters? Don't make me laugh.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:31PM (1 child)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:31PM (#1003396) Journal
                    You just mentioned one such party. Yes, the voters. You also mentioned the US military. That's another. A third is other corporations.
                    • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:59PM

                      by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:59PM (#1003419)

                      Only two of those interests are going to have any say in what happens, and the other two work hand in glove.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:51PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:51PM (#1002813)

      There's one really big space-side lever to potentially ensure that no one in space needs to give much of a damn about what an Earth-side government says: it's really easy to drop a very big rock on any spot on the planet Earth.

      Once enough people get out into space and they're living there on a permanent basis, they'll make their own rules between themselves. Probably after a lot of blood is spilled. That's what humans do.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:13PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:13PM (#1002832) Journal

        There's one really big space-side lever to potentially ensure that no one in space needs to give much of a damn about what an Earth-side government says: it's really easy to drop a very big rock on any spot on the planet Earth.

        It also has a huge lag. The nuclear powers on Earth can wipe out countries inside of two hours with nukes. That asteroid will take years to decades, plenty of time for an Earth power to respond and thwart the attack. Even a Heinlein-style railgun shooting rocks from the Moon will leave a day or more of warning.

        And it's not going to do a thing to space-side infrastructure which could easily dodge that stuff and retaliate.

        • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:25PM (1 child)

          by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:25PM (#1002840)

          It's a bit hard for earth to dodge tho. It would either have to be intercepted somehow, the track record for such things is currently not fantastic, or some kind of mass-evacuation of/from a calculated impact zone.

          That said I don't think there will be any Heinlein-style Mars (or Klendathu) bombardments of Earth anytime soon. It's probably more interesting what will happen with small research/mining bases and such -- what happens in space, stays in space unless there is some really atrocious things that just can't be denied or overlooked and they still have a presence on Earth or whatever we consider out jurisdiction will be.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:37PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:37PM (#1002851) Journal

            It's a bit hard for earth to dodge tho.

            It was moved once. It can be moved again. As to space infrastructure dodging lunar attacks, I forgot about clouds of dirt moving at orbital velocities. That's much harder to dodge.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:09PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:09PM (#1003266) Journal

        I don't think it's in the Moon's interests to fight with Earth. You can't get a decent bagel anywhere on the Moon.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday June 05 2020, @09:46PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday June 05 2020, @09:46PM (#1003973) Journal

        May well be. But any space-borne (or other-solar-system-body-borne) culture would also have to be completely self-sufficient. Redundancies for the redundancies for the redundancies. Yes, Moon is a Harsh Mistress and all... but Mike only gave 1 in 7 odds of the revolution succeeding and even then success meant they came to better terms with Earth for resupply. Plus they had launched all their remaining canisters... what if nobody had recognized Luna in spite of the bombing? They'd die a lot more quickly than the Earth would.

        How would they with inevitable minor outgasses of oxygen alone? Not saying they wouldn't, Fallen Angels had the characters skim the atmosphere to "steal" replenishment oxygen. Being at the top of the gravity well matters little if you're hypoxic.

        --
        Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:49PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:49PM (#1002861)

      that california law is retarded. training for guerrilla warfare can be training for offense or defense and is a duty not a privilege. rep needs to get it.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:42PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:42PM (#1002945) Journal
        Well, it's California. Must be something in the water.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @11:36PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @11:36PM (#1002981)

          If there is something in the water, California has determined it causes cancer.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @09:53PM (#1003375)

            Better than all your priests who jizz into the water supply thinking they'll spread God's precious bodily fluids. How does it feel to have guzzled a few gallons of cum in your lifetime?

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:48PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:48PM (#1003160) Homepage Journal

      I see a claim [motherjones.com] that California has made it illegal to train for "guerrilla warfare or sabotage"

      What a culture difference! I've heard a claim that Switzerland trains their entire population in sabotage; and that this made it useless for the Nazis to invade them -- there would be no way to hold the territory.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54PM (#1002768)

    Was discussed by the great Ursula Le Guin in the Dispossessed
    (Just wasn’t earth’s moon in the book)
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/mar/29/hugo-award-ursula-le-guin [theguardian.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:37AM (#1003661)

      They interviewed that 100+ year old Native American who was the last of his tribe from the massacre outside of.... Napa I think it was.

      She had a great pedigree and spent many decades as a mentor to other aspiring writers both male and female up until her death a few years ago. Truly worth of respect both for her literary works, her forefathers, and her life up until the very end.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by turgid on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:00PM (13 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:00PM (#1002775) Journal

    I foresee China, SpaceX and possibly Russia going to war over the Moon. Russia and China have nukes. SpaceX does not (yet) but it does have better rockets. Maybe Fake President Pull-My-Finger will sell Elon a few old nukes for cheap.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:05PM (9 children)

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:05PM (#1002780)

      Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

      And as long as corporation's headquarters are here on Earth, and their supplies are launched from places on Earth, this is the place you fight them.

      The Outer Space Treaty says that things in space are dealt with by the country of origin of the launch vehicle.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by turgid on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:09PM (2 children)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:09PM (#1002783) Journal

        Power, control, pride, possession... all the usual things people go to war over. There will be all sorts of posturing and petty disputes that will be "solved" through violence. Imagine the prestige of winning the first ever space war?

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM

          by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:00PM (#1002822)

          What's surprising? This is the US we're talking about, the country that has been at war for 93% of its existence [globalresearch.ca].

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:07PM (#1002824)

          If there are valuable deposits it seems probable they will not be evenly distributed. Typical fight for resources.

          Would be nice if humanity united so we wouldn't have to kill people over who gets the resources.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:59PM (#1002820)

        I can imagine some places on the moon being much more valuable than others. For example, the poles could be pretty useful to dig for ice, or to erect solar panel towers in permanent daylight.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:08PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:08PM (#1002826) Journal

        Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

        Because you find water only on a little of it. You know? That polar solvent that any human is addicted to the point that the withdrawal symptoms is usually fatal?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:33PM (3 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:33PM (#1002848) Journal

        Why would anyone go to war over the moon when there is so much of it?

        Because there is so much of it. While shooting wars have started over remarkably stupid [wikipedia.org] things, the smarter people would go to war over high stakes. Control of the whole Moon would be such high stakes.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:21PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @08:21PM (#1003345)

          I'll see your football war and raise you one bucket!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Bucket [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 05 2020, @03:21AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 05 2020, @03:21AM (#1003542) Journal
            Both wars have all the right attributes - start over silly circumstances and end up a waste of time for both sides. War of the Bucket gets extra points for being rather bloody and pointless, 2000 people died with a complete reset of the political situation inside of a year - though the bucket has yet to return.

            In the real world, I have been informed of the great and terrible Toledo War [wikipedia.org] (over the US Toledo not the Spanish original) with one stab wound. I also thought of the Cod Wars [wikipedia.org], a series of three mighty conflicts between Iceland and the UK with much trading of paint and one death.
            • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Monday June 08 2020, @12:48AM

              by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday June 08 2020, @12:48AM (#1004675)

              Not to be confused with the Cold War.

              Nice.

              --
              "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:49PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:49PM (#1002811)

      Musky boy is trying to build a case [space.com] to give himself control of more nuclear weapons than currently exist...

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (#1002869)

        He is becoming quite unhinged these days. Wonder what is going on with him.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:50AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:50AM (#1003142) Journal
          He's probably way too spread out between all his business interests and he tweets.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SemperOSS on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:55PM (4 children)

    by SemperOSS (5072) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:55PM (#1002818)

    I claim everything outside a distance of 320 km (200 miles) from the surface of the Earth plus permanent access rights to this volume via the atmosphere. I will have to request all the illegally parked vehicles in this volume to be removed instantly or face parking charges. My partnership, the Parking-in-Space Syndicate Ltd (traded as PISS on the Southern Hebrides International Trading stock exchange), with Mr E Musk will soon launch a number of attendants in spiffy, yellow space suits to dice out tickets to the many offenders.

    Parking permits for residents can be purchased for $235,000 a year per vehicle with the possibility of discounts of up to 0.001% (rounded to the nearest dollar) for all permits after the first. Please contact the head office in Lagos, Nigeria for further information.


    --
    I don't need a signature to draw attention to myself.
    Maybe I should add a sarcasm warning now and again?
    • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:04PM (2 children)

      by BsAtHome (889) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:04PM (#1002894)

      Please note: I already have claimed all of the Andromeda galaxy. Please do not trespass. Entering without authorization will result in singularity attacks and gamma-ray bursts to keep you at an appropriate distance of at least a few thousand lightyears.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:54PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:54PM (#1003161) Homepage Journal

        What about the people who are already there?

      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday June 05 2020, @09:54PM

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday June 05 2020, @09:54PM (#1003975) Journal

        Ah. Very good to meet you! I am the taxation official for galactic entities in the Local Group. Please remit your current back taxes in arrears of 6.8 quadrillion Quatloos immediately. Failure to do so may result in repossession or string displacement to render all the atoms of your galaxy to their quantum particle states. This is your final notice, and we expect your payment by hyperloop transfer to Frogstar B in 36 Rels. Thanks, and have a nice day!

        --
        Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @09:59PM (#1002955)

      I will be concerned, only when, you install the boot to my vehicle wheel arch.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:09PM

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:09PM (#1002827)

    I'm sure the Weyland-Yutani corp approves of this. What could possibly go wrong ...

    That said isn't this the natural outcome of it? If states can't exert power then whatever things they, corporations, put in orbit or asteroids they mine or whatnot will probably be considered theirs and for them to do as they see fit with. Far away from the prying eyes of earth and it's laws.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:20PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:20PM (#1002839)

    So why would anyone agree to this

    US-centric framework of bilateral agreements in which "partner nations" agree to follow US-drafted rules.

    They can dream up, or "envisage" all they want, I doubt any country that matters will sign it.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:56AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @11:56AM (#1003146) Journal
      Aside from the US - which spends more on space stuff than the rest of the world combined.
  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by ilPapa on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:56PM (6 children)

    by ilPapa (2366) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:56PM (#1002935) Journal

    I don't think anyone should get too worried about "current US rules". Everything's going to change real soon. Executive orders will be undone and hopefully there will be South African-style "truth and reconciliation" hearings. There's gonna be a lot of repair/fumigation to do once the bloated and fetid degenerate in the White House is safely gone. But happen it will.

    --
    You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:15PM (#1002961)

      Are you going to cry when the orange overlord wins again?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:15PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:15PM (#1003192) Journal

      Executive orders will be undone and hopefully there will be South African-style "truth and reconciliation" hearings.

      For what? Trump's shitty tweets? I'm tired of people demanding justice when they can't even articulate what's supposed to be wrong.

      As to the "current rules" in space, we need something better. We globally spend vast sums on government space activities, and get token theater in response. The private world is where it's at. That's where the new ideas come from and the will to do awesome things.

      The rules should reflect that. My take is that claim staking, like mining in the Western US over the past two centuries, is a far superior approach to the clueless communalism of the Moon Treaty (which claims that space belongs to everyone, but isn't signed by a single space power). While the Artemis Agreement wouldn't go that far, at least it would allow for normal property in space.

      • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Saturday June 06 2020, @12:51PM (3 children)

        by ilPapa (2366) on Saturday June 06 2020, @12:51PM (#1004164) Journal

        For what? Trump's shitty tweets? I'm tired of people demanding justice when they can't even articulate what's supposed to be wrong.

        Not at all. The hearings won't be for Trump, they'll be for those that supported and enabled Trump. This type of hearings were proposed after the Civil War and if they would have happened we might not have the kind of problems we have in the country today. Nuremburg kept Europe nazi-free for 60 years, after all. South Africa has been peaceful and moving in the right direction thanks to the Truth & Reconciliation hearings.

        --
        You are still welcome on my lawn.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday June 06 2020, @05:12PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 06 2020, @05:12PM (#1004241) Journal

          The hearings won't be for Trump, they'll be for those that supported and enabled Trump.

          So when you come with a loathsome kangaroo court idea and present it as coming from a opponent of Trump, doing your part to support and enable Trump, how many years in prison do you think you deserve for that? Five? Ten? Just put you against the wall?

          This type of hearings were proposed after the Civil War and if they would have happened we might not have the kind of problems we have in the country today.

          Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed after the US Civil War.

          South Africa has been peaceful and moving in the right direction thanks to the Truth & Reconciliation hearings.

          Taking testimony from people who suffered real harm under apartheid is very different than going on a witch hunt for "enablers".

          • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Monday June 08 2020, @12:59PM (1 child)

            by ilPapa (2366) on Monday June 08 2020, @12:59PM (#1004806) Journal

            So when you come with a loathsome kangaroo court idea and present it as coming from a opponent of Trump, doing your part to support and enable Trump, how many years in prison do you think you deserve for that? Five? Ten? Just put you against the wall?

            No jail time or execution if there is a sincere apology.

            Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed after the US Civil War.

            If they just would have let Sherman finish the job we might not have had Jim Crow and still be living with the South's racist legacy. And we damn sure wouldn't have statues of Confederate traitors all over the South.

            --
            You are still welcome on my lawn.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 09 2020, @04:31AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 09 2020, @04:31AM (#1005087) Journal

              If they just would have let Sherman finish the job we might not have had Jim Crow and still be living with the South's racist legacy. And we damn sure wouldn't have statues of Confederate traitors all over the South.

              With his elite corps of unicorns right? Military defeat doesn't eliminate racism.

              No jail time or execution if there is a sincere apology.

              I think a sincere "fuck you" suffices here.

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