Friday, April 23, 2010

Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the creations of George Lucas have figured out space travel, war in the stars, and lightsabers.

And possibly, America is launching our world in that direction.

NASA just launched a prototype for the X-37B military spaceplane, which is about one-fourth of the size of a traditional space shuttle. My initial thought at the idea is cool, we've got a spiffy new miniature space shuttle. Cool beans.

But it seems at odds with the President's decision to cancel Dubya's plans to get Americans back on the moon, and NASA creating a spacecraft for the military also seems at odds with the same President just winning a Nobel Peace Prize. The most terrifying words in the BBC's article occur after a mention that the US Air Force is willing to discuss the vehicle's design: "...but its purpose remains classified." Especially problematic, because the vessel appears to be designed to orbit. And the last thing America really needs is being seen as even more aggressive and more war-mongering. Oy.

The sci-fi geek in me thinks that the possibility of life on other planets, of a world that's moved beyond our own, of taking that pioneer spirit into the stars, can be pretty fantastic. But...the military? I have some concerns about that, particularly given the dark side of human nature.


Post a Comment