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Thursday, December 24, 2009


This is another letter I have had in Spiked in reply to an article lamenting the media lack of interes in finding water on the Moon. I am reprinting the directors cut of this letter italicising the edite bits.
I did blog on this at the time
but I admit not since though I have discussed several other space related measures.

Much of the reason for not doing so since is that no world leader has said they intend to do anything about it. This does make a lunar base much more feasible & long term industrial use of the Moon & building O'Neill colonies very much more certain but no western leader has their eyes above the Luddism of the War Against Fire.

The other short term greater reason for ignoring it is that it was not NASA who did this but primarily India. It is a magnificent achievment for Indian science. But it does wrongfoot the media. We are used to thinking of India as a backward country of peasants we used to run. The idea that they have discovered water on the Moon when we don't even have a space programme (we are involved in ESA but that is merely a way to fund more European bureaucrats & achieves less than little) is galling. This is why such popular reaction as there has been is that we should stop giving any aid to these implicitly "uppity" folk.

In fact we, all the western countries not just Britain, have nobody to blame but ourselves that we are not where we expected to be.We handed over space development to be purely make work for bureaucrats when it is the most important activity since humans left Africa. If a $10 million X-Prize was enough to kickstart the private space programme then for the £400 million a year we spend on 20 environmental reports a year we would now have a fleet of orbital spaceplanes & for the money wasted on papershuffling we would have outposts on Pluto by now.

Even more important than water on the Moon is recent news that for £12 billion, over 15 years, we could build a Space Elevator. No part of the popular media is even interested in thinking about that. Japan is.

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