In keeping with the theme of 2010, that humans should be ashamed of themselves, Stephen Hawking, it seems, is generally pessimistic about man. In a recently completed documentary series for the Discovery Channel, Hawking speculates about both the inevitable reality of alien life and what an encounter with advanced life would be like.
"He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”
He concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”"
Our second story today is about the launch of the X37B craft, the "mini shuttle" as I call it.
"Somewhere above earth is America’s latest spaceship, a 30ft craft so
classified that the Pentagon will not divulge its mission nor how much
it cost to build.
The mysterious X37B, launched successfully by the US Air Force from
Cape Canaveral on Thursday, using an Atlas V rocket, looks like a
mini-Space Shuttle — but it's mission is top secret."
Initial article about "the secret launch"
Apparently, with all the buzz surrounding the launch of the X3, nobody noticed a rocket launch from California carrying the space based weapon "Prompt Global Strike", a missile system that can reach any target on the planet within one hour.
"The prototype was launched from Vandenberg air force base in California
on a solid-fuel rocket booster made from a decommissioned ballistic missile. There was no comment from US Strategic Command, which controls the programme, on either the success of the test or a timetable for future deployment.
“It is premature to discuss the actual implementation of this capability
until the technology has sufficiently matured,” a Pentagon statement said.
The Washington Times reported last week that Darpa is building two
Falcon vehicles, the second of which is scheduled for launch early next year.
US officials have sought to reassure Russian and Chinese authorities
that the new weapons will be developed in small numbers and will be kept well away from US nuclear launch sites so there is no confusion that might triggeran accidental nuclear war."
Secondary article about the technology.
"The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars States Parties to the Treaty from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or to otherwise station them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit. The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and shall be free for exploration and use by all States."