This year COPUOS did something that warms my heart – space weather was added to the agenda.
Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog on a regular basis; understands how strongly I stand on educating the masses in matters of space. It boggles my pondering mind why solar wind, sunspot activity, and geomagnetic disturbances are not part of the daily weather reports.
By adding space weather to the COPUOS agenda, the United Nations acknowledges the potential ass kicking our sun could deliver. I won’t hold my breath, but the possibility exists that with the UN on board I just might live to see the day when everyone knows what a CME is.
the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.
Pardon me if I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry. While tipping my hat to an extremely sensible set of rules, especially when considering the Cold War era of the authors – I’m laughing for exactly the same reason, a holy crap moment if ever there was one.
Almost 50 years ago, at arguably the pinnacle of paranoia and calamity; fingers poised on nuclear annihilation – a polite little agreement set terms for the final frontier. A practical approach – sensible, and designed for the benefit of all mankind. Principles too fantastic to ever consider applying right here at home.
Stuffy, mistrustful politicians crafted a masterful piece of science fiction, yet failed to catch the irony. I’m not so naive as to think any of them stuck to the deal, yet blissfully embrace the notion of a clean slate somewhere beyond our closed minds. I enjoy fantasy; the thought of a place existing free of earthly shackles, is as good a premise as any.
Until I hear differently – space is Shangri La. A place where all people are equal, liberated from war, matters of God, and any principles other than those that benefit mankind.