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Discovery ready for launch  (Source: NASA)
Shuttle Discovery is moved to its launch site; Russia warns the world over space militarization; and the identity of the latest space traveler has been revealed

NASA moved shuttle Discovery from its Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to launch complex 39A, its final destination before launching into space.  Originally scheduled to be moved last week, the three-mile journey had to be delayed while engineers repaired an unexpected hydraulic leak.  Discovery will transport a connecting module Harmony to the International Space Station (ISS) - Harmony will connect the U.S. part of the module to the Japanese and European sections, which will be installed next year.

The U.S. space agency hopes to launch Discovery on October 23, although only two backup days are available if a technical malfunction causes a delay.

As the threat of a global space war continues to grow, especially after China successfully demonstrated anti-satellite technology last year, Russia issued a warning that the space power would be left with no choice but retaliation if other nations deploy weapons.  Although Col.-Gen Vladimir Popovkin declined to single out a specific nation.

"We don't want to fight in space but on the other hand we will not permit any other country to lord it over the cosmos," said Popovkin.  "If a country deploys weapons in space the laws of the arms race are that opposing weapons will appear ... It's necessary to set in law the rules of the game in space."

Both Russia and China requested the United Nations intervene to help create international boundaries that all major space nations should abide by.

Space Adventures recently announced that its sixth paying space tourist will be Richard Garriott, son of former astronaut Owen Garriott, who spent almost two months stationed aboard the Skylab.  As the largest private investor in Space Adventures, Garriott is best known for creating "Ultima" and NCsoft Corp's North American subsidiary.  Garriott will be first son of an American astronaut to head into space towards the ISS, reportedly paying almost $30 million for the trip.

Even though Space Adventures is a company based in the United States, NASA flies space experts only, forcing Space Adventures to send astronauts to space on Russian Soyuz spacecrafts.



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Hmmm
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/1/2007 9:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
If Russians don't want a space battle scenario, then this:

quote:

"We don't want to fight in space but on the other hand we will not permit any other country to lord it over the cosmos," said Popovkin. "If a country deploys weapons in space the laws of the arms race are that opposing weapons will appear ... It's necessary to set in law the rules of the game in space."


Makes no sense, as if they want to be really pacifist, they can say "we will show that we don't want any kind of space fight, so we're not deploying any weapons there as a gesture of peaceful intentions and we'll try out diplomacy first if any move by another country becomes a belligerent threat".
But instead he says that while they don't want to fight, they're willing to embrace any weapon race that might appear and threatening that they "will not permit blah blah"...
The threat and the willingness to research space weaponry are not very compatible with "we don't want to fight in space"

Double sided speeches make me sick, from whomever they might be coming from.




RE: Hmmm
By Spivonious on 10/1/2007 11:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
It makes perfect sense. He's saying "We don't want people putting weapons in space, but if they do we will not hesitate to retaliate." He then goes on to say that we need to put some international law in the books about space combat.


RE: Hmmm
By oTAL on 10/1/2007 12:18:02 PM , Rating: 4
So?
It's kind of like saying: "I am against violence, but if someone is thinking of hurting my family they better know that I am prepared to hunt them down and rip their hearts out with my bare fists."

I don't know about you but it makes perfect sense to me.


RE: Hmmm
By 3kliksphilip on 10/1/2007 12:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think it means that 'We don't want war but if other nations are going to put weapons in space then we will follow'. I think that Russia has the right attitude. If there's no weapons, there's no fighting... right?

Okay, it's not that simple, but I don't want any nation to start building up an armada in space. Human conflict really will get out of hand. (Even more so) What's an army for? To protect a country? If so, why are there wars? It's because they occasionally attack. No matter how good the intentions, giving a nation an army in space is only going to be met by everybody else equipping one too. Leave space as a neutral force. (Yes, I know there are satellites up there already, but you know what I'm talking about. Give a child a gun and it's only a matter of time before he uses it.)


RE: Hmmm
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/1/2007 2:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
I read that little passage as if he was more ready to follow suit as for what space arming matters, than to really avoid conflicts.
Putting weapons floating in the stratosphere is neither fast nor cheap, requires a great effort, and you will not get into that great a deployment if you really don't want to start a conflict.

He could have said something like "If other nations start developing their warfare into space, we will be against that and will start a diplomatic fight to ensure a fare agreement".

On the other hand, maybe I'm just being way too picky. I usually am when it comes to matters like this one :)


RE: Hmmm
By Ringold on 10/1/2007 4:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I read that little passage as if he was more ready to follow suit as for what space arming matters, than to really avoid conflicts.


You suffer from Cold War amnesia.

Bottom line: The best way to avoid war is be sufficiently armed that war would bring about such devastation as to be undesireable.

In other words, yes, if Russia wanted to be European-style coward and hope appeasement ensures their security, they could do as you prescribed and maintain the moral highground while being at the mercy of all others. On the other hand they could respond to such force in kind, virtually eliminating the chance of being trodden upon while acquiring the ability to at least give a grand accounting of themselves should they still be assaulted.

Truman, Eisenhower, Khrushchev; they all admitted nuclear arsenals didn't guarentee security by themselves, nor would militarizing space secure space assets. Kennedy, I think, said we build arms not because it gives us security but because we know not what else to do (and we still dont). It goes a lot further then "I'm a good boy, why are you crushing me?" did for, say, Czechoslovakia to Hitler. ;)

Oh, and just a year prior to the rampage through Europe, Hitler was one of the most popular men alive. Which proves another post WW2 military truth: We can't afford to wait until a crisis arrises to begin to bear arms. Instead we must be prepared at all times as, like Korea, it can descend from no where. Thus the Russian thinking, demonstrated by their Col., that if a conflict could at all occur in space, Russia must be prepared for it.


RE: Hmmm
By oTAL on 10/2/2007 6:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
"European-style coward" you say?
Sir, you have no idea what you are talking about.


Boundaries?
By Dfere on 10/1/2007 12:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested to know what boundaries are being postulated? Bands of travel? How in gods green earth can you put a boundary on an orbiting satellite? Even something geonsynchronous orbits while ascending, correct? And what about legacy satellites that orbit (like current spy satellites), what about commercial satellites......?




RE: Boundaries?
By oTAL on 10/2/2007 6:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
Boundaries as in rules.
They want to clearly define the rules of their new playground so that everyone knows what is game and what is not.


brain fart???
By Myrandex on 10/1/2007 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
"Although Col.-Gen Vladimir Popovkin declined to single out a specific nation, the "

I believe that isn't a quite finished sentance.




Lord British in Space...
By oTAL on 10/1/2007 12:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
No big surprise that Richard "Lord British" Garriot is going to the ISS since he was always a big fan of Space and certainly had the will and the money to go for it.

What I find myself thinking is that maybe they should leave the guy there for the money so many people wasted on Ultima 9. The game idea itself was not bad, but the sheer amount of bugs and design problems made it AWFUL.

As a fan of the series I wanted to end it but I eventually gave up. Even with the official patches (which kind of took the game from alpha to early beta) and the community patches (solved a few additional problems - the main being the inventory bug) it would still crash left and right. What a horrible piece of crap...




One omission...
By McTwist on 10/1/2007 12:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Why no mention of the launch of the Dawn mission?
http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/




Blast you Simmons!!
By Egglick on 10/1/2007 10:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As the threat of a global space war continues to grow, especially after China successfully demonstrated anti-satellite technology last year, Russia issued a warning that the space power would be left with no choice but retaliation if other nations deploy weapons.

"We don't want to fight in space but on the other hand we will not permit any other country to lord it over the cosmos," said Popovkin. "If a country deploys weapons in space the laws of the arms race are that opposing weapons will appear ... It's necessary to set in law the rules of the game in space."

I find the above quote absolutely hilarious. Russia seems to be suggesting that if they were attacked with a space weapon, rather than declare war and fight on Earth, they would have to launch their own weapons and only fight the battles in space.

Sounds like something mad scientists would say to each other in some sort of cheesy B-movie. They shake hands, but then vow to defeat each other with their remote-controlled outer space gadgets.




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