Preserving Space

You know, when I first saw this a few days ago, I didn’t mention it, because I thought it was a joke. But when I went and did a search at Thomas, it turned out to be real. Dennis “the Menace” Kucinich (D-Ohio) actually introduced it. This is loonytunes squared.

Going against my normal posting style, in the interest of HTML simplicity, I’m going to italicize my comments from here on in, rather than the quoted text:

Space Preservation Act of 2001 (Introduced in the House)

HR 2977 IH


1st Session

H. R. 2977


October 2, 2001

Mr. KUCINICH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, and International Relations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To preserve the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the benefit of all humankind by permanently prohibiting the basing of weapons in space by the United States, and to require the President to take action to adopt and implement a world treaty banning space-based weapons.

So, it’s OK to have weapons pass through space (e.g., ballistic missiles), as long as we don’t actually base them there? Yes, by all means, let’s preserve space as a sanctuary for missiles. Let’s go on, and see just how he defines “space-based,” and “weapons.”

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Space Preservation Act of 2001′.


Congress reaffirms the policy expressed in section 102(a) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451(a)), stating that it `is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.’.


The President shall–

(1) implement a permanent ban on space-based weapons of the United States and remove from space any existing space-based weapons of the United States; and

(2) immediately order the permanent termination of research and development, testing, manufacturing, production, and deployment of all space-based weapons of the United States and their components.

Hmmmm…while this is a monumentally dumb concept to begin with (gun control?–that trick never works…), we’ll have to get down to the definitions section (what’s “space-based”? What’s a “weapon”? What’s a “space-based weapon”?) before we can really tear it to shreds, and demonstrate just how disastrous a policy it would be for anyone who hopes to develop space. Of course, one suspects that Mr. Kucinich and whatever other loons he found to co-sponsor don’t actually care much about that


The President shall direct the United States representatives to the United Nations and other international organizations to immediately work toward negotiating, adopting, and implementing a world agreement banning space-based weapons.

Yeah! That’s it! A treaty!

Everyone always obeys treaties! And if anyone tries to cheat, and put any of those nasty “space-based weapons” up there, well, space isn’t all that big–we’ll find ’em…


The President shall submit to Congress not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter, a report on–

(1) the implementation of the permanent ban on space-based weapons required by section 3; and

(2) progress toward negotiating, adopting, and implementing the agreement described in section 4.

Dear Congress:

Over the past ninety days, we talked to lots of countries, and made lots of progress in negotiating, adopting, and implementing the agreement.


GW (space cowboy) Bush

repeat as necessary


Nothing in this Act may be construed as prohibiting the use of funds for–

(1) space exploration;

(2) space research and development;

(3) testing, manufacturing, or production that is not related to space-based weapons or systems; or

(4) civil, commercial, or defense activities (including communications, navigation, surveillance, reconnaissance, early warning, or remote sensing) that are not related to space-based weapons or systems.

Well, that’s a relief. Glad to know that they don’t want to restrict exploration (which may result in the discovery of asteroids that could be diverted as “weapons”), or research and development (which might be applied to “space-based weapons”), or testing, manufacturing, or production that is not related to space-based weapons systems (wonder how they’ll know?), or communications, navigation, surveillance, reconnaissance, early-warning, or remote sensing (that are all necessary in order to build or effectively use “weapons”).

Now, for the truly fun part, for the lawyers among us…


In this Act:

(1) The term `space’ means all space extending upward from an altitude greater than 60 kilometers above the surface of the earth and any celestial body in such space.

Hmmm…, where did they come up with that number? It used to be fifty miles to get astronaut’s wings, and the international standard is a hundred kilometers (or approximately 62 statute miles). I wonder if someone screwed up their units, like NASA with the Mars probe?

(2)(A) The terms `weapon’ and `weapons system’ mean a device capable of any of the following:

(i) Damaging or destroying an object (whether in outer space, in the atmosphere, or on earth) by–

(I) firing one or more projectiles to collide with that object;

Like throwing a wrench from a space station?

(II) detonating one or more explosive devices in close proximity to that object;

Ya mean, like the propellant tanks of an orbital transfer stage?

(III) directing a source of energy (including molecular or atomic energy, subatomic particle beams, electromagnetic radiation, plasma, or extremely low frequency (ELF) or ultra low frequency (ULF) energy radiation) against that object; or

As in, e.g., beaming power from one platform to another, or to provide clean energy to the earth from orbit? Or by sending communications that could hack it and command some destructive activity?

(IV) any other unacknowledged or as yet undeveloped means.

Well, I guess they covered all their bases…

(ii) Inflicting death or injury on, or damaging or destroying, a person (or the biological life, bodily health, mental health, or physical and economic well-being of a person)–

(I) through the use of any of the means described in clause (i) or subparagraph (B);

(II) through the use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations; or

Psychotronic? Mood management? Mind control?

[cue theme from The Twilight Zone]

Doo, de, doo, doo, Doo, de, doo, doo, Doo, de, doo, doo, Doo, de, doo, doo…

(III) by expelling chemical or biological agents in the vicinity of a person.

Ummmm… you mean like rocket exhaust?

(B) Such terms include exotic weapons systems such as–

(i) electronic, psychotronic, or information weapons;

(ii) chemtrails;

Chemtrails? WTF are chemtrails?

(iii) high altitude ultra low frequency weapons systems;

(iv) plasma, electromagnetic, sonic, or ultrasonic weapons;

(v) laser weapons systems;

(vi) strategic, theater, tactical, or extraterrestrial weapons; and

(vii) chemical, biological, environmental, climate, or tectonic weapons.

Tectonic weapons?

Someone’s paranoia engine was running in overdrive here.

(C) The term `exotic weapons systems’ includes weapons designed to damage space or natural ecosystems (such as the ionosphere and upper atmosphere) or climate, weather, and tectonic systems with the purpose of inducing damage or destruction upon a target population or region on earth or in space.

I’m at a loss for words

Fortunately, I can’t imagine this ever getting out of the Science Committee, with its present composition. But if the Dems take over the House this year, look out next year…