The Battle For The Moon

Joe Pappalardo target=”_ “deflates Mark Whittington’s favorite space fantasy. Over the past half century, the Pentagon has never found any compelling use for military man in space commensurate with the cost. That could change if the cost comes down dramatically, but there was nothing in NASA’s Constellation plans to make that happen. The new programs offer much more hope in that regard, if they can survive the coming budget tsunami.

6 thoughts on “The Battle For The Moon”

  1. “Pentagon has never found any compelling use for military man in space commensurate with the cost.”

    Great news! I wonder how long it’ll take civilians to reach the same conclusion?

  2. Joe sets up a number of straw men and ignores recent discussions on the matter. I’ll have a more detailed analysis likely some time tomorrow.

  3. The moon itself is the strawman. We already have a type of space war going on now. The leaders of China may be belligerent bullies, but they are also methodical. They are increasing there military budgets across the board while we are cutting ours.

    China would be foolish to attack us now, but the trends are not good. If they ever see a chance to sucker punch us, they could very well take it. It’s been done to us twice before. We shouldn’t assume it will never happen again.

    The example I look at is Georgia. China doesn’t have to go all in. They can just nibble then wait for the debate to cool. Then nibble a bit more.

    OTOH, If China does establish a moon base. Can you imagine them not arming it? It’s not like we’d be in a joint venture with them. We can’t even assume we’d know the location of all base assets. Especially on the far side.

    China is not running out of land, even with their population size, but they still have territorial disputes (mainly with India.) It’s not likely they would engage militarily from the moon (more likely in earth orbit) but if things escalate (as they tend to) the moon could be part of the battleground after a base is established. This is not a near future issue, but that’s why trends are important.

  4. The article (snarky tone and all – references to Michael Bay, for crying out loud) raises a series of scenarios then (as one of the posters on the site notes) dimisses them with handwaving.

    I am not a proponent of Military Moon Bases, but this superficial article does not prove antything about their utility (or lack thereof).

    Some irony though in you plugging an article that makes fun of Project Horizon. That plan for reaching the Moon, used (no – wait for it) orbital refueling. 🙂

    I know you consider Whittington to be your “enemy”, but (the old cliché not withstanding) the enemy of your enemy can still be your enemy.

  5. I like the idea of an Archimedes Death Ray on the Lunar surface. With segmented adaptive mirrors you can collimate the focal point of light to a wide degree of ranges. You’d really not even need to destroy the target but could use light pressure to disrupt their trajectory, overload their solar power systems, or interfere with there sensors and navigation systems. It’d be like popping ants on a cosmic scale dude.

  6. Systems in LEO and GEO are increasing becoming vulnerable to counter-measures. As someone pointed out in the comments, China could launch rocks from the Moon ad infinitum and if we don’t have a presence or capability of reaching the Moon, then we could do nothing but get slammed.

    Guess we’ll find out in X years when China goes to Moon while we’re still trying to figure out where we think we might go with our flexible plan to nowhere.

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