Friday, September 28, 2007

two space stories

From the Deccan Chronicle this morning. one weird call to arms in the name of peace, and one prediction from a long time ago coming true.


'Kalam predicts a space war', the headline says. We have all these space scientists, including the much-appropriated Sunita Williams, at the 58th International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad, all wanting to discuss our final frontier and our ex-President wants to pre-emptively arm it so that we can 'deal with “celestial” disputes between nations and ensure peace in the outer space.'

"Multilateral approaches are required to ensure that the use of outer space is in conformity with international law and in the interest of maintaining peace and security and promoting international cooperation. Hence, I suggest creation of an International Space Force made up of all space faring nations wishing to participate and contribute to protect world space assets,” Dr Kalam said.

Right. We've seen how successful international organisations are at keeping the peace in the one world we know. Now let's repeat our infinite capacity for vileness, corruption and will to destruction elsewhere, shall we? I'm only hoping that by the time we get around to it, we'll have destroyed ourselves right here on earth.


Astrophysicists have suggested a way to solve the water scarcity which future star trekkers would face in Mars and Moon — drink recycled urine and sweat. This would be the most viable alternative if astronauts and space tourists want to enjoy long sojourns in waterless Moon and Mars or if humans ever plan to set up colonies there.

Forty-two years ago, Frank Herbert called them stillsuits.


equivocal said...

Well obviously, the astrophysicists would have gotten their idea from reading the Frank Herbert. That's the hidden secret of how scientific progress actually works. That's why most of the devices in science fiction novels eventually come true.

Space Bar said...

Equivocal: Sure; I'm not saying I'm surprised, just expressing satisfaction that this one has come to pass. It always gave me a curious thrill to read the passage when Paul Atreides cries after his battle with the Fremen kid and the Fremen are immensely moved that he can 'give water to the dead'. Nothing - not even the yuckiness of thinking of waht you would need to do to recycle water in the stillsuit - shows how valuable and scarce a resource it is.

word verification - xlokbpk: an axlotl tank's storage space.