Dear Russia

Really, Russia? An Anti-Satellite Weapons test near the same orbit as the International Space Station? What were you thinking?

You have our people at NASA, again, lying to protect this partnership that you apparently despise so much.

You launched Sputnik. You led the first space race for a while, so no one over here thinks that you are STUPID enough not to know where that debris would go. You knew that it would not hurt the station but that it would pass close enough to trigger emergency procedures. Yes, we get the message. Yes, the space partnership that both our sides built to ensure the peace and help end the Cold War could also be used for either side to manipulate the other to pretend to condone each other’s actions in the world. You wanted us to know that you will do whatever you want in Ukraine and we don’t have to like it, but that we do have to take it.

However, here’s the thing. We don’t have to take it for very long, and your peaceful relationship with the U.S. has other, newer, benefits for you that you aren’t seeing. The economy over here that you and China and some in Europe despise so much has spawned a New Space effort that you and China could drive yourselves into bankruptcy trying to compete with. It no longer requires coalitions of superpowers to do space things, so we no longer need to link arms with you on these lengthy orbital projects in space but you will soon need us. A single American company, not even a corporation but run by one person, has now built an infrastructure that puts the crewed exploration of space into the hands of millionaires, and the world has lots of those. In a few years, millionaires along with any country bigger than Jamaica can have their own human spaceflight program operating aboard corporately owned and operated space stations and flown there by billionaire-owned space transportation companies. This growth of this effort is helped along by ISS contracts, but it can now progress without it.

Here’s the thing though. most of these provider companies are U.S. organizations…operating under rules laid down by the U.S. State Department. So, while anyone with access to millionaire money can even now have access to space through businesses like SpaceX, U.S. companies are prohibited from doing business with countries that the U.S. government doesn’t like.

So go ahead and laugh it up, Ivan. Laughter is cheap and hurts no one. However, plan your military ambitions carefully, because what you do on the world stage today could shut you out of access to space tomorrow…unless you think that Roscosmos (giggle), or even the China National Space Agency (CNSA), will build a dozen or so space stations in Low Earth Orbit, and explore the Moon, and fly people to Mars during the next ten years.

The International Space Station will soon enter the history books and your opportunity to join the world community as a trusted and peaceful friend will be history with it if you take advantage of our short remaining reliance on you to restore a part of your glory days as the USSR and start gobbling up your neighbors.

So, are you part of the future or doomed to the past?


~ by Bill Housley on November 21, 2021.

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