Did We Just Break Another Treaty?

You know my thing about seeing patterns. Well here’s another one that’s a little hard for me to ignore.

First of all let’s review. That last round trip to the moon was made in the seventies. This was after a half dozen human excursions were made to fulfill the dream of a fallen martyr and some other unmanned landings. If that is entirely true, than all well and good. Many have asked why no major programs to return have happened since then. Some have answered with the possibility that an agreement was made with those not of that current earth to not revisit our nearest neighbor in space. So in 1976, in trade for some fresh technology the earth-based space faring nations of the time promised to no longer venture into the backyard; no more moon landing and bringing back samples. We could look but not touch.

But at that time as even now, not all the nations had the financial wherewithal to go into space and so they were not consulted in the agreement. I would say treaty signing but that would imply that signing a name on a piece of paper meant the same to all the participants – it didn’t so other, more universally accepted methods, were used.

One of the non-participants in the seventies agreement was the nation of China. The years since then have been good to China and now they have the desire to begin their space exploration in earnest. The success of their latest exploit can be found in this story from space.com. China’s 1st Round-Trip Moon Shot Sets Stage for Bigger Lunar Feats. They have successfully sent a probe around the moon and back in preparation for landing a probe and bringing back samples. (Strange how bell-shaped that probe looks. I wonder where they got that idea?)

But the agreement made forty years ago is still in effect. Participants who then thought that the U.S. and the Soviet Union spoke for the entire planet have not changed their point of view. Besides that, the reasons that humans should not be allowed out of near earth orbit still exist. They may be even a little stronger now considering our continuous warring misbehavior. But here go these Asian upstarts sending their physical sampling probes to the moon again. What can the non-earth treaty participants do to remind earth that the agreement is still in effect and applies to ALL of the inhabitants of this third rock…?

Private Orbital Sciences Rocket Explodes During Launch, NASA Cargo Lost.
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash: Full Coverage and Investigation.
The second incident of which cost human life.

The fact that this all took place in a week, from intergalactically-illegal moon launch to 50,000 foot explosion of a manned test vehicle which by the way was a test of a program which is still only for a near earth orbit, has to be more than a coincidence. Oh sure the engine on the Orbital Sciences rocket was based on an old design – others from that same era had worked before!! – and the feathering flaps deployed prematurely on the Virgin Galactic spaceship – perhaps human error by a test pilot with years of experience?? – so it can all be explained away. But this is still a couple of proverbial smoking guns on the grassy knoll as far as I’m concerned.

I’m not saying that humans should not be in space. Just the opposite. But I am in favor of full disclosure by whatever shadow government is negotiating with the non-earth-based space faring societies. Let everyone on earth know that the others are not only out there but are here too. When that knowledge is made public our ways will change. We will see that we are all one here on this planet and also one with the other partners we have we in space. Certainly there will be growing pains but knowing for sure – instead of just suspecting – that we are not alone can bring all the peoples of the earth together so that we can earn our place among the stars.