The alien and space related news of this past week nicely covers all the science fiction basics. There’s a potential prelude to space-based warfare, some commercial space travel, and a new channel for possible genetic engineering. There’s also some plain old extraterrestrial and a side of Obama meets Independence Day.
Pretty good for a week of space development in which nothing really left orbit.
The Ugly Side of Spaceflight: It was only a matter of time: space travel started as a game of militant one-upmanship. So after all the recent activity, scientific experimentation and commercial interest, it’s likely that weapons development and political intrigue will occur.
suspects that the first has occurred during the Untied States’ testing of
robotic X-37B – which the Air Force says has been testing satellites. Either
way, the second has definitely begun, and this widening of both real and
potential space activity could have pretty terrible implications.
From Soviet Russia to the Moon: For the rather lofty price of $150 million, private citizens will soon be able to go to space. In anywhere between two and three years, the spaceflight firm Excalibur Almaz will have ‘refurbished’ enough old Soviet space capsules, stations, and vessels to start up some space tourism. But the option might only be available for 29 people in the next decade, so get your ridiculously over-sized fortunes ready.
President Liked on the Merits of Alien Ass-kicking Abilities: The touted merits of figures up for election are generally pretty exaggerated, and the usual polls don’t contain that much reflection of actual substance. But this one takes the cake. A poll done by National Geographic asked the American public if Obama or Romney could better save the world in the event of an alien invasion, and the answer was pretty overwhelming in favor of Obama. And while this poll was surrounded by similar (and stupid) ones about people’s beliefs about UFOs and whether an alien invasion would be a good thing or not (as I said, stupid, since a lot of people said yes to this), all Obama has to do is be better than Bill Pullman and he’s got my vote.
Space Good for the
Worms: Plant and animal testing has been pretty prolific in testing the conditions
of space. Lichen can survive space in a dormant state, and mice can be
genetically engineered to not have bone degradation; the worm studies might
just be the weirdest yet. Microscopic worms that are put through the conditions
of spaceflight live longer. I have no idea how to get good applications out of
this, but there are interesting possibilities.
Rover, Rover, Rover: There’s no real new news about the Curiosity rover, just more information about its mission to search for life. We’re about a month away from it landing and some potentially definite proof about life on Mars, and, NASA says, signs of life might literally be just under the surface. Hopefully Curiosity has a good shovel.
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Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.