Profligate, vain and utterly pleased with himself, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson could boast about his latest adventure of megalomania. Unlike others of the stinking rich set, he is incapable of keeping quiet. He pretends to be the people’s tycoon. His wealthy adventurism is as much for himself as it […]
In the old Frank Sinatra song, flying to the moon meant “playing up there with those stars” and seeing “what life is like on a-Jupiter and Mars” — in other words, “filling the heart with song”. But in the third decade of the 21st century, it is epochal politics — […]
In the first month of 2020, Forbes was all excitement about fresh opportunities for plunder and conquest. Titled “2020: The Year We Will Conquer Mars”, the contribution by astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter was less interested in the physics than the conquest. A potentially very crowded scene was described. Various countries […]
The discussion about mining the Moon resembles that of previous conquests: the division of territory; the grabbing of resources; language of theft and plunder. All of this is given the gloss of manifest destiny and human experiment. Such language is also self-perpetuating: the plunderer is only as good as the […]
It would be too simple to regard the latest space venture, funded by Elon Musk, as entirely a matter of vast ego and deeply-pocked adventurism. But it would be close. The successful delivery of astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken of NASA as part of the joint mission with SpaceX […]
The Moon landing anniversary this weekend was given a vigorous clean-up, with the Cold War finding a back seat when it was, in fact, the main driver. The Moon project was a fundamental political poke, soaked by competitive drives. The science was the instrumental ballast and has come to provide the heavy cosmetics to romanticise what is, at best, an effigy.
It should surprise no one, and yet, the passing of the first man on the moon enabled space – and the American way of life – to be yanked into the public fold with a degree of hubris that should turn any human off extra-terrestrial missions. Tributes are flooding various […]