September 5 News Items

New Mexico State University to Study Space Weather (Source: AP)
Astronomers at New Mexico State University plan to take weather forecasting a step further. They have been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA to better understand the depths of the sun and predict weather in space, such as the magnetic storms that can develop on the sun and cause havoc with satellites and power grids on Earth. Assistant astronomy professor Jason Jackiewicz said the researchers will study the sun during "sunquakes," probing its interior to determine the sun's internal properties. Scientists hope to see where a magnetic field is born and how it rises, as well as understand solar eruptions and flares. (9/5)

Orbital Sciences Opens New Arizona Facility (Source: East Valley Tribune)
Orbital Sciences Corp. has taken possession of a new 82,000-square-foot building in south Chandler, Arizona, and has started moving employees into the new space. Located across the street from the company's main complex, the new building will provide office space for about 300 program managers and engineers in the company's Launch Systems Group. Currently, those employees are crowded together at other Orbital locations in Chandler, and the new building will give them more room to work, said Jim Utter, deputy general manager for business operations. No additional hiring is taking place, he said. (9/5)

Jump-Starting the Space Program, With Profit Motive (Source: Weekly Standard)
The reason little has happened in space exploration since 1969 was typically reported as having something to do with the end of the Cold War. But few commentators asked why no other motivation for investment in space had emerged in the United States or other countries. The reason is simple: a lack of incentives. What actually happened to space exploration is that just before the moon landing, in 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies went into force.

This treaty prohibits any nation from claiming ownership of any part of outer space. The treaty states that "outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." And that, in a nutshell, explains why few are interested in spending money to go there. The principal benefits from space exploration are national prestige and technological spinoffs. Thus, a rising power such as China is interested in expanding its space program. Although peaceful economic exploitation is not prohibited, in the absence of property rights a company or a country probably could not capitalize on a mineral discovery or the settlement of a planet.

Further, the treaty specifies that all exploration and use of outer space "shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of the degree of their economic or scientific development." On earth, there is a traditional distinction between terra nullius, "land belonging to no one," which can be claimed through discovery and settlement, and res communis, the high seas and other areas that cannot be claimed by any country. This distinction allowed Christopher Columbus, for example, to both promise much and bargain hard. Had he been barred from claiming lands and precious metals for his patrons, it is doubtful anyone would have funded his voyages--or that he would have wanted to go himself. He insisted on retaining 10 percent of the profits of the voyage, hereditary governorship of the lands he hoped to discover, and much else. (9/5)

LaRouche: Why Mankind Must Venture out into Space (Source:
At a private luncheon with diplomats in Washington on Aug. 19, American economist Lyndon LaRouche was asked about the call for a 50-year program for a manned mission to Mars, that he had issued in his Aug.1 webcast. LaRouche first stressed the "long-term human reason for the space program." We cannot simply stay on Earth, he said, "like prisoners waiting for the catastrophes that are likely to happen to our planet." Although that may be in distant future, we must prepare for it now.

Secondly, he said, to maintain an economy, you need a high rate of scientific and technological progress. "To do that, you need a driver program. Competent people understood that if mankind wanted to go into space, we had to start by going to our Moon, and establishing a base there, on which to build the industries and equipment you need to to go into space - economically. (9/5)

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