Space Weapons Create Controversy

ramela-isagholian
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">RAMELA ISAGHOLIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

The militarization and weaponization of space by the United States government is an issue that gathered many together in an event held in Glendale Public Library organized by the Glendale Peace Vigil on March 12.

A documentary film called, “Arsenal of Hypocrisy: The Space Program and the Military Industrial Complex,” was screened. A discussion was held afterward.

This film is against space militarization and weaponization as it pollutes the environment, diverts money and resources from education and science and promotes this program as a means to dominate the earth.

The film, written and narrated by Bruce Gagnon, is meant to increase public awareness of this issue.

According to Gagnon, the United States plans to “control and dominate space and the earth below.” The one-hour production features archival footage and Pentagon documents to support this claim.

The video also explains the dangers of the “Nuclear Systems Initiative” that will expand the use of nuclear power in space.

To understand the provenance of the United States space program, Gagnon goes back in time to the Nazi concentration camps where thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Communists and many others were used as slaves for the operation and research.

The prisoners started to sabotage the operation by urinating on the equipment and as a result, more than a hundred detainees were hanged, accused of “crimes against humanity.”

The film also speaks of the dangerous and harmful results of the experiments done in space, which have released radioactive particles into the air and caused many deadly cancers among humans, which concerns many US citizens.

As Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon and one of the sources used film warns, the weaponization of space would create massive bits of space waste (as they explode) that would surround the earth and forever pollute the atmosphere.

The ways the United States intends to use space technology to control the earth, the refusal of negotiation of global ban on weapons in space, and the deadly pollution of the environment were the main issues of the discussion.

Today, the United States has hundreds of military bases throughout the world. The main reason for spreading its military power is to protect the United States’ interest and to take power and control of every move made in each and every corner of the earth.

According to Gagnon, to amass this power, the United States has staged military interventions in many countries over the last 50 years.

“These projects and wars cost hundreds of billions of dollars,” says Gagnon, “[which have been made possible] through the cut of education, health care [and much other public welfare.]”

The information presented in the film did not, however, please everyone concerned about this particular issue, as many science-informed individuals found that some of the information presented lacked veracity.

“I am in complete agreement with the need of keep the weaponization and militarization out of the space,” said Bill Weisman, who has been a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) employee for 18 years. “Unfortunately, I am going to speak out tonight that this film is dishonest and deceptive.”

According to Weisman, the weaponization and militarization of space and the use of nuclear power are two separate issues and should not be discussed as one.

Weisman stated that in order to carry out space missions, nuclear power is needed. However, this film implies that a deadly kind of radioactive isotope is used in Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, also known as RTGs, which provide power for experimental equipment on each spacecraft.

“That is not the case,” says Weisman. What is used for RTG’s is Plutonium-238 which is “dangerous, nasty stuff but it is harmless [to public health] and if it breaks apart, it breaks apart in to small pieces.”

An incident from 1964 involved a SNAP 9A generator in which RTGs were released in space but “they all burned on the reentry [and no radiation was detected] as far as any one knows.” Those early RTGs were designed to combust their fuel at high altitudes and their design proved successful.

In April 1970, the Apollo 13 lunar module reentered the atmosphere and its SNAP 27 power generator fell intact in the South Pacific. In both cases, the RTGs performed according to design requirements and released no plutonium during reentry or impact.

The discussion covered many aspects of the past, present and future political and environmental situations and drew the same conclusion, “keep space for peace.”

For more information on weaponization and militarization of space, visit: http://www.state.gov/t/ac/trt/5181.htm, and also http://www.klx.com/cassini/rebuttal.html.

The Glendale Peace Vigil sponsors many events. For detailed listings of events check glendalepeacevigil.org.