Added 2 new A* pages:Oh yeah, I went there. ;)|
On the topic of impending space conflict, did you know that there's an Outer Space Treaty? Yep, since 1967, over 100 countries have signed the thing, which mainly says that you can't have nukes or other weapons of mass destruction in space, can't build military bases out there, and you can't claim any part of it for your nation. Basically, it says that space "shall be the province of all mankind."
There are some interesting particulars. For instance, any nation discovering anything "which could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts" must inform the other nations of the threat immediately. The nations "should consider on a basis of equality" any requests by other members to observe their "space objects," ie ships and probes and stuff. They're supposed to inform the Secretary-General of the UN, and the international scientific community, of their space activities, "to the greatest extent feasible and practical." And nations are supposed to let astronauts from other nations into their space homes "on a basis of reciprocity," as long as they "give reasonable advance notice."
So it sounds like space is supposed to be a big international party, which I guess it pretty much is so far. Pretty neat, and I think we're all better off if space wars are confined to comics and movies and other such fictional things, really. I suppose the Treaty probably came along when it did because at the time it must have been pretty clear that either the US or the Russkies were gonna land men on the Moon in the not-too-distant future--so when the Apollo 11 astronauts landed there two years later--on July 20th, 1969--they could plant flags, but couldn't actually say "I claim this land for the US of A," which personally I would have been dying to say anyway (hm actually I probably would have said "I claim this land for Spain," just for historical purposes).
Gosh I was so occupied with science this week that I forgot to post my usual alluring link to my weekend fantasy comic, "The Princess and the Giant." Check out the latest page by clicking this handy preview image:
and if you like that one, there'll be a new one going up on Sunday, because that's the day I update that comic. Yep.