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[Uncategorized] The latest “race to the Moon” may really be a race for rare earth metals

NASA offers to buy Moon resources mined by private companies. Meanwhile, a Chinese company is launching asteroid-mining robot into space in November

The post The latest "race to the Moon" may really be a race for rare earth metals first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:9/28/2020 8:19:10 PM
[Markets] Top NASA Official Unveils $28 Billion Plan To Land First Woman On Moon Top NASA Official Unveils $28 Billion Plan To Land First Woman On Moon Tyler Durden Sat, 09/26/2020 - 21:15

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled a $28 billion program to send the first woman to the moon in 2024 as part of its Artemis program.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine released a statement Monday (Sept. 21), announcing the new mission to put a human back on the lunar surface would be the first time since 1972. 

Bridenstine said, "with bipartisan support from Congress, our 21st-century push to the Moon is well within America's reach." 

"As we've solidified more of our exploration plans in recent months, we've continued to refine our budget and architecture. We're going back to the moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers," he said. 

Bridenstine added that "a sustainable presence" on the moon will eventually pave the way for astronauts to take their "first steps on the Red Planet," referring to NASA's future mission to Mars.  

NASA's lunar missions are part of its Artemis plan, including the first mission – known as Artemis I – will launch the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft around the moon for a series of tests this fall to check performance, life support, and communication capabilities. Astronauts will be apart of the Artemis II mission in 2023. Artemis III allows the first woman and the next man back onto the lunar surface in 2024. 

"In 2024, Artemis III will be humanity's return to the surface of the moon - landing the first astronauts on the lunar South Pole. After launching on SLS, astronauts will travel about 240,000 miles to lunar orbit aboard Orion, at which point they will directly board one of the new commercial human landing systems, or dock to the Gateway to inspect it and gather supplies before boarding the landing system for their expedition to the surface," NASA's statement read. 

President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 in 2017, which allows NASA to integrate private companies into its space program to return humans to the moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond. 

And for hints of why NASA wants to return to the moon. Bridenstine, last week, called for a "lunar gold rush" by paying private companies to extract rare earth metals from the moon.

The Artemis missions appear to pave the way for America to tap into hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of untapped resources of the moon , including fifteen lanthanides, as well as scandium and yttrium - used in modern electronics. There's also an abundance of Helium-3, a very rare gas, with the potential to fuel clean nuclear fusion power plants. This infographic from 911Metallurgist.com explains why NASA wants to harvest the moon's resources:  

"Across history, human development has relied upon the finite resources available on Earth. But the moon - a seemingly barren rock - may actually be a treasure trove of rare resources vital to Earth's future. And now, nations are looking upwards to a potential lunar gold rush," 911Metallurgist.com states in the infographic's intro. 

NASA's next step in exploring and commercializing the solar system starts with landing the first woman on the moon in 2024. 

Published:9/26/2020 8:31:35 PM
[Markets] Why Are So Many Asteroids Having Close-Calls With Earth In 2020? Why Are So Many Asteroids Having Close-Calls With Earth In 2020? Tyler Durden Sat, 09/26/2020 - 18:55

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Have you noticed that it seems like stories about asteroids that are approaching the Earth are constantly in the news this year?  It wasn’t always this way.  In the old days, maybe there would be a story about an asteroid every once in a while, and those stories were never a big deal.  But now asteroids are zipping by our planet with frightening regularity, and several more very notable passes will happen over the next few weeks. 

For example, an asteroid that was just discovered on September 18th will come very, very close to the Earth on Thursday.  According to NASA, it will actually come closer to our planet than many of our weather satellites

An asteroid about the size of an RV or small school bus will zoom past the Earth on Thursday, NASA announced, passing within 13,000 miles of the Earth’s surface.

That’s much closer than the moon and is actually closer than some of our weather satellites.

This asteroid will speed by at more than 17,000 mph, but the good news is that it is so small that it would not be a serious threat even if it hit us.

But two other very large asteroids are also going to pass the Earth by the end of this month, and both of them are large enough to do an enormous amount of damage…

Two large asteroids will pass Earth in the next two weeks, with one measuring up to 426 feet in diameter and the other 656 feet—comparable in size to ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, which is 455 feet tall.

The first, smaller asteroid will pass by Earth on September 25 at a distance of 3.6 million miles, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, which tracks and predicts asteroids and comets that will come close to Earth. The second larger asteroid will fly by on September 29 at a closer distance of 1.78 million miles.

The good news is that neither of them have a chance of hitting us this time around, but the fact that the Earth’s neighborhood has so much “traffic” these days is a major concern.

Any soldier will tell you that if enough bullets get fired at you there is a very good chance that eventually you will get hit.

Let me give you a couple more examples of “near Earth objects” that are headed our way in the near future…

In October, an “unknown object” is expected to enter our gravitational field and become a temporary “mini-moon”

An object known as 2020 SO is heading towards Earth, and from October, it will be a ‘mini-moon’, which could stay in orbit of our planet until May next year. While we have The Moon, Earth regularly gets many small asteroids and meteors which caught in its orbit, which astronomers call ‘mini-moons’.

And in November, we are being told that a small asteroid will come very close to our planet on the day before the election

An asteroid is projected to come close to the Earth on November 2, a day before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed.

The asteroid known as 2018VP1, first identified at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, has a diameter of 0.002 kilometers (over 6.5 feet), according to the data.

Scientists say that it is not likely that this asteroid will hit us, but they admit that they cannot claim this with 100 percent certainty

And that’s why the future of 2018 VP1 is uncertain. It was observed 21 times over 13 days, which allows its orbit to be calculated fairly precisely. We know it takes 2 years (plus or minus 0.001314 years) to go around the Sun. In other words, our uncertainty in the asteroid’s orbital period is about 12 hours either way.

That’s actually pretty good, given how few observations were made – but it means we can’t be certain exactly where the asteroid will be on November 2 this year.

Fortunately, this particular asteroid is also too small to seriously hurt us, and we should be thankful for that.

But the fact that so many space rocks have been headed our way is definitely alarming.

Back in August, an asteroid the size of an SUV came extremely close to hitting our planet.  The following comes from NASA

Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs, pass by our home planet all the time. But an SUV-size asteroid set the record this past weekend for coming closer to Earth than any other known NEA: It passed 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. EDT (Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9:08 p.m. PDT).

What made that incident so unsettling was the fact that NASA didn’t even see it until it had passed us

The flyby wasn’t expected and took many by surprise. In fact, the Palomar Observatory didn’t detect the zooming asteroid until about six hours after the object’s closest approach. “The asteroid approached undetected from the direction of the sun,” Paul Chodas, the director of NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, told Business Insider. “We didn’t see it coming.”

Unfortunately, the truth is that our scientists simply cannot see everything that is up there.

They are doing their best, but everyone agrees that our technology is limited.

But over the last 20 years our technology has definitely improved, and at this point the number of asteroids that our scientists have identified is far greater than it was a couple of decades ago

The animation maps out all known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) — space rocks that get within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of our planet’s orbit — from 1999 through January 2018, in roughly 10-year time steps.

The differences are stark. In 1999, identified NEAs speckled the inner solar system thinly, in a light dusting. Many more were discovered by 2009, and Earth’s neighborhood looks absolutely swamped in the present-day portion of the video.

Of course more giant space rocks are being discovered all the time, and unfortunately many of them are not identified until after they have had a close encounter with our planet.

If NASA couldn’t see the asteroid that almost hit us in August in advance, what else can’t they see?

And is it just our imagination that the number of close calls seems to be increasing, or are scientists just getting a whole lot better at detecting them?

At this moment we don’t have all the answers, but we should be thankful that our experts are trying to keep a close watch on the skies because scientists tell us that it is just a matter of time before we are hit by a giant asteroid.

In the movie Deep Impact, such a scenario was called an “extinction level event”.

As I write this article, there are thousands of giant space rocks floating around up there that could cause such a disaster, and NASA is working to catalog them all as rapidly as they can.

Published:9/26/2020 6:00:02 PM
[] NASA astronaut's voting plan is out of this world Published:9/26/2020 10:58:06 AM
[Markets] Astronauts Isolate As Mystery Air Leak Hunt Continues On International Space Station Astronauts Isolate As Mystery Air Leak Hunt Continues On International Space Station Tyler Durden Fri, 09/25/2020 - 23:20

NASA and the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos are searching for a small air leak on the International Space Station (ISS), according to Sputnik

The crew of the ISS will move to the Russian side of the station on Friday, and through the weekend, to allow for a couple of days of air pressure tests. This will be the second time astronauts have isolated in an attempt to find the leak. 

"Over the coming weekend, the ISS crew will self-isolate in the Russian segment of the station to search for an atmospheric leak at the station. The crew will regularly perform all planned operations, nothing threatens the crew's safety," a representative Roscosmos told Sputnik.

US astronaut Christopher Cassidy tweeted that the ISS crew would "try again with the module isolation this weekend. No harm or risk to us as the crew, but it is important to find the leak we are not wasting valuable air." The crew took similar precautions in August, when they isolated on the Russian side of the station for four days. 

Cassidy provided more color on the situation via a series of tweets. He said, "Moscow and Houston Mission Control Centers have been tracking a tiny air leak for several months." For the last week, Cassidy has been examining all the window seals of the station using an ultrasonic leak detector.

NASA has said the leak was first detected on Sept. 2019 but has worsened in recent months.  

As the ISS crew works over the weekend to find the source of the leak, readers may recall, in 2018, the station experienced another air leak that was initially thought to be the result of a micrometeorite. It was eventually concluded the tiny hole that created a dangerous air leak was a "deliberate sabotage." 

 

Published:9/25/2020 10:26:36 PM
[Government] NASA commissions report to show its economic impact: $64B and 312K jobs Perhaps anticipating budget pushback from the federal government, NASA has released its first ever agency-wide economic report, documenting the agency’s impact on the nation’s jobs and cash flow. Everyone knew NASA was impactful, but now we know exactly how impactful it is, some $64 billion and over 300,000 jobs worth in FY2019. It seems clear […] Published:9/25/2020 4:21:17 PM
[Markets] Kennedy's US-Russia Joint Space Vision Must Be Revived Kennedy's US-Russia Joint Space Vision Must Be Revived Tyler Durden Mon, 09/21/2020 - 23:55

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

September 20th marked the anniversary of the last speech John F Kennedy delivered to the United Nations’ General Assembly.

This event bears more relevance upon our present crisis than most people could possibly imagine. This is true not only because it is wise to pay homage to great ideas of the past which lesser souls allowed to slip away and get buried under the sands of time, but also because history provides many of the solutions to seemingly impossible problems in our own time.

During his short speech, Kennedy outlined the very same fundamental obstacles to survival faced by our own world 57 years later:

The spectre of nuclear annihilation looming overhead, poverty and the evils of colonialism staining humanity on earth, and the dominance of destructive modes of thinking which have prevented honest dialogue between the west and east who have so many common interests and yet have been blocked from acting upon them for want of creativity, understanding and faith.

Although it is far too rarely displayed in history, great leaders (those who are beholden to their consciences) recognize that there are solutions to every problem. From Plato to Cicero to Confucius and Christ in ancient times or Thomas More, Benjamin Franklin, Lincoln, and Kennedy in our modern age, these rare but vitally important individuals demonstrate through their words and deeds that when the dominant social rules of the game prevent those necessary and possible solutions from manifesting, then only one course of action becomes possible: Change the rules of the game.

The martyred Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin eloquently touched on this truth in 1992 shaking the hands with Yasser Arafat and advancing a two-state solution saying: 

“The future belongs to those who have the courage to change their axioms.”

Kennedy Breaks the Rules of the Great Game

Such was the case of John F. Kennedy who recognized early on in his short-lived presidency that the geopolitical “closed system” thinking dominant among the military and foreign policy experts of the west held only the seeds for humanity’s destruction. In his speech of September 20, 1963, Kennedy revisited a theme which he first unveiled on the day of his inaugural address in 1961: A joint U.S.-USSR space program to transform the rules of the Cold War and usher in a new creative age of reason, win-win cooperation and boundless discoveries.

In his 1961 inaugural speech, Kennedy ushered in the theme that would animate his next three years saying:

“Together let U.S. explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce. Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah–to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.”

Ten days later, Kennedy re-iterated this idea during his first state of the Union inviting Russia “to join with U.S. in developing… a new communication satellite program in preparation for probing the distant planets of Mars and Venus, probes which may someday unlock the deepest secrets of the universe”.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and other leaders in the east heard these words with a mix of hope and trepidation.

The priests of the Cold War also heard these words… however hope was not among their feelings. Their hearts sank under the profound fear that the zero sum game theory models that they spent so much effort to bring online as substitutes for creative diplomacy would become obsolete in a new age of positive cooperation among sovereign nation states.

These latter priests who were then led by such figures as the State Department’s Dean Rusk, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Joint Chiefs’ head Lyman Lemnitzer and the powerful Dulles brothers lit dangerous fires on multiple fronts in an effort to kill JFK’s vision in the cradle.

The form this attempted murder took was the Bay of Pigs Invasion of April 17-19 which was put into motion weeks before the young president had stepped into the White House. Even though Kennedy outflanked the Dr. Strangeloves among the Joint Chiefs of Staff by not providing air support for the invasion, grave damage was done to U.S.-Soviet relations. When he finally met Khrushchev on June 4, 1961 in Geneva, the president’s offer for space cooperation was rejected by the Russian leader who demanded America commit to arms reduction and other acts of good will before any positive cooperation could possibly take place.

Did Khrushchev recognize that Kennedy’s November 1961 firing of Allan Dulles and his threat to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces demonstrated a potentially trustworthy partner during this period? We may never know for sure.

Despite these setbacks, Kennedy’s requests for joint U.S.-Russian cooperation in space went on unabated and we do know that Khruschev’s letter congratulating the USA for putting their first man into orbit conveyed a strong reciprocal hope saying on February 21, 1962:

“One more step has been taken toward mastering the cosmos and this time Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn, a citizen of the United States of America, has been added to the family of astronauts. The successful launching of spaceships signalizing the conquest of new heights in science and technology inspire legitimate pride for the limitless potentialities of the human mind to serve the welfare of humanity. It is to be hoped that the genius of man, penetrating the depth of the universe, will be able to find ways to lasting peace and ensure the prosperity of all peoples on our planet earth which, in the space age, though it does not seem so large, is still dear to all of its inhabitants.

If our countries pooled their efforts—scientific, technical and material—to master the universe, this would be very beneficial for the advance of science and would be joyfully acclaimed by all peoples who would like to see scientific achievements benefit man and not be used for “cold war” purposes and the arms race.”

On September 12, 1962 Kennedy electrified the aspirations of both Americans and the world delivering his famous “Moon Speech” at Rice University saying:

“We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war… We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

This speech and the accompanying top down federal spending needed to realize these goals ushered in a momentum and excitement which was nearly destroyed by the greatest nuclear confrontation humanity had ever faced only one month later as America and Russia nearly unleashed hell on earth during the 9 day Cuban Missile Crisis.

Although it took an immense effort, JFK overcame immense opposition from the Deep State to negotiate the test ban treaty on August 5, 1963 co-signed by the USA, the USSR, UK and joined by over 100 other nations prohibiting nuclear test explosions in the atmosphere, underwater or in outer space. By that time, word was circulating among JFK’s closest staffers that the president was planning to visit Moscow either during his presidential campaign or in the earliest moments of his 2nd term in office.

Never content to mechanistically focus on one policy at a time, Kennedy’s holistic approach to statecraft always opened multiple flanks simultaneously which was witnessed in his October 1963 efforts to pull America out of Vietnam with his NSAM 263, as well as his efforts to bypass the Federal Reserve by issuing Silver backed treasury notes to finance his growth policies both at home and abroad. A fuller exposition of Kennedy’s battle is outlined in the class “Montreal’s Permindex and the Deep State Plot to Kill JFK”:

The September 20 Offensive for Cooperation

This brings U.S. to the decisive moment on September 20, 1963 as Kennedy gave his loudest impassionate call for a U.S.-Russian joint space program with the goal of putting a Russian and American on the Moon by the end of the decade. Kennedy opened his speech acknowledging the existential dark threat wrapped tightly over humanity saying:

The world has not escaped from the darkness. The long shadows of conflict and crisis envelop U.S. still. But we meet today in an atmosphere of rising hope, and at a moment of comparative calm. My presence here today is not a sign of crisis, but of confidence.”

Kennedy lays out the two opposing versions of peace (negative/deterrence vs positive/win-win) and clearly described which one was the only sustainable and legitimate form compatible with natural law:

“If either of our countries is to be fully secure, we need a much better weapon than the H-bomb–a weapon better than ballistic missiles or nuclear submarines–and that better weapon is peaceful cooperation.”

The president poetically builds an understanding within his audiences’ mind to understand the possibility and necessity for positive peace conceptions that would require an end to Cold War thinking and usher in a new age of reason saying:

“In a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity–in the field of space–there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; by resolution of this Assembly, the members of the United Nations have foresworn any claim to territorial rights in outer space or on celestial bodies, and declared that international law and the United Nations Charter will apply. Why, therefore, should man’s first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure? Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries–indeed of all the world–cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending someday in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all of our countries.

“All these and other new steps toward peaceful cooperation may be possible. Most of them will require on our part full consultation with our allies–for their interests are as much involved as our own, and we will not make an agreement at their expense. Most of them will require long and careful negotiation. And most of them will require a new approach to the cold war–a desire not to “bury” one’s adversary, but to compete in a host of peaceful arenas, in ideas, in production, and ultimately in service to all mankind.”

How Did Khruschev Respond?

Everyone knows that Nikita Khrushchev, who frequently battled leading figures among Russia’s politburo during his last years in power, was deposed in a coup in 1964. But it is worth asking: how did he respond to Kennedy’s final call to cooperation? As far as this author can tell, history largely remained silent on this point for many years, until Sergei Khrushchev (Nikita’s son) delivered a revealing interview to Space Cast magazine on October 2, 1997.

In that interview, Sergei revealed that after the success of the partial test ban treaty and Kennedy’s UN speech, his father had decided to accept Kennedy’s offer saying: “my father decided that maybe he should accept (Kennedy’s) offer, given the state of the space programs of the two countries… He thought that if the Americans wanted to get our technology and create defenses against it they would do it anyway. Maybe we could get technology in the bargain that would be better for U.S. my father thought.”

Sergei also reported to Space Cast that like Kennedy, Khrushchev “was also planning to begin diverting weapons complex design bureaus into more consumer and commercial, non-military production.”

Sergei ended his interview saying: 

“I think if Kennedy had lived, we would be living in a completely different world.”

The Aftermath of Kennedy’s Murder

Kennedy’s murder on November 22, 1963 ended this potential and pulled humanity back into the iron grip of the Cold Warriors who sought to keep humanity’s creative potential locked under the heavy chains of nuclear terror, consumerist decadence (today called Globalization) and never-ending wars that wrecked havoc upon the next five decades.

Under this closed system paradigm, creativity’s power to change our carrying capacity through scientific and technological progress was all but banned as vast financial resources were redirected away from NASA (whose budget peaked in 1965 and was only strangled continuously thereafter) into the military industrial complex and the growing debacle in Vietnam. This war which both Kennedy and his brother had fought to stop went far in annihilating the spirit of optimism in the hearts of the young and old alike while CIA-sponsored drugs flooded the campuses of America ensuring the growth of a new ethic of escapism, anti-humanism, post-truth modernism and rejection of Judeo-Christian traditions that infused western society its moral vitality for 2000 years.

Vital investments into nuclear fusion R & D were slashed and educational reforms under control of British imperial operatives steering the OECD (like Sir Alexander King) ensured that engineering/physics and other “practical sciences” were replaced with sociology and humanities courses which would be more “relevant” in a post-industrial Brave New World.

Humanity’s Second Chance

Second chances of this magnitude do not come often, but sitting as we are once more upon the precipice of nuclear Armageddon (the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set the Doomsday clock mere seconds to midnight), the choice of global annihilation or survival has again been put before U.S..

Today, the spirit of JFK’s vision has come alive through the leadership of Russia and China who together have re-activated bold space missions to revisit the Moon with the full backing of the powers of sovereign nation states. This has manifested in the form of the Russian-China joint program to co-develop lunar missions, which have included the European Space Agency’s participation in the upcoming Luna 25, 26 and 27 missions to the Moon scheduled to occur between now and 2025.

Roscosmos officials stated on August 27 that this program (which is open for the USA to participate in as an equal partner) “includes missions to study the Moon from orbit and surface, the collection and return of lunar soil to Earth, as well as in the future, the construction of a visited lunar base and full scale development of our satellite.” Roscosmos representatives went further to announce their plans to establish a permanent lunar base by 2030 with China following suite soon thereafter.

This orientation obviously dovetails the American Artemis Accords which president Trump and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine (a long time friend of Roscosmos’ Dimitry Rogozin) recently unveiled to promote international partnerships in lunar and mars development standing in stark contrast to the military industrial complex’s plans to militarize space.

The spirit of JFK’s space vision has certain come alive in new and exciting ways, but one question still remains unanswered: Does America have the ability to withstand the forces seeking to dissolve the republic and join this new open system paradigm or are those forces which killed JFK and sunk humanity into an age of war and closed-system thinking too powerful to stop?

Published:9/21/2020 11:15:22 PM
[Markets] NASA Is Paying For Moon-Rocks - Implications For Space Commerce Are Huge NASA Is Paying For Moon-Rocks - Implications For Space Commerce Are Huge Tyler Durden Mon, 09/21/2020 - 20:35

Authored by Alexander William Salter via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Commercial space enthusiasts, we have liftoff! On September 10th, NASA announced that it’s soliciting proposals for private entities to collect lunar rocks and soil. Basically, NASA is offering to buy these materials from the corporations that gather them. This project has enormous implications for the future of commercial space activities.

“Today, we’re taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources,” announced NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

One of his goals is to create “a stable and predictable investment environment for commercial space innovators and entrepreneurs.” 

Furthermore, he clarified that NASA intends to take an “‘in-place’ transfer of ownership.”

Translation: whoever harvests the moon materials needn’t bring them back to Earth. This initiative helps realize Congressional legislation to protect U.S. citizens’ property rights to celestial resources, and gives teeth to a recent executive order promoting the commercial development of space.

NASA is creating financial incentives for private companies to market lunar resources. This could be a first step to developing lunar mining capabilities. The biggest benefit of the program, though, is precedent. It puts the U.S. government’s imprimatur on space commerce. Given the ambiguities in public international space law, this precedent has the potential to steer space policy and commerce in a pro-market direction.

The foundational document of international space law is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST). Drafted at the height of the Cold War, its chief function was to prevent a celestial arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. That’s why it didn’t include any specific provisions for outer space property rights. Article II of the treaty forbids “national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” This calls into question the permissibility of private property rights. And Article VI states “activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision” by their governments. This suggests that commercial actors must be micromanaged by their governments.

Subsequent treaties tried to clarify OST’s purposes. For example, the Moon Agreement of 1979 clearly frowns on property rights to celestial resources: It forbids making the moon or any of its resources the “property of any State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person.” Fortunately, none of the major spacefaring nations ratified the treaty. Nevertheless, a significant portion of the international community supports it.

With NASA’s announcement, the U.S. government decisively rejected this anti-commercial mindset. The U.S. government is not annexing lunar real estate, meaning it continues to affirm OST Article II. And as for Article VI, as space lawyer Laura Montgomery correctly notes, it is not self-executing. It isn’t “enforceable federal law” without Congress passing “domestic implementing legislation.” In fact, Congress passed such legislation: The previously-mentioned law to recognize and protect outer space property rights. It’s clear that Congress is comfortable with markets in space. Finally, because the U.S. government never signed the Moon Agreement, there’s no subterfuge.

The position of the US government is clear: commercial activities in space are neither exploitative nor illegal. Given the vagueness of international space law on property rights, the precedents created by national space law will have a decisive role in shaping the future space environment. Hence, NASA’s actions can support a pro-business turn not just for the United States, but also for the international community as a whole.

In ancient times, mankind extended the division of labor across tribes, turning enemies into friends. Later came trade across national boundaries, with similar largely peaceful effects. Now, humans are prepared to extend it still further: into the final frontier. Doux commerce is coming to the stars. NASA just made a “giant leap for mankind.” Everyone who cares about human wealth and welfare should heartily thank them.

Published:9/21/2020 7:43:49 PM
[Markets] NASA To Spark "Lunar Gold Rush" In Move To Break China's Monopoly On Rare Earth Metals  NASA To Spark "Lunar Gold Rush" In Move To Break China's Monopoly On Rare Earth Metals  Tyler Durden Fri, 09/18/2020 - 22:40

NASA wants to spark a "lunar gold rush" by paying companies to extract rare earth metals (REM) from the moon. 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine recently tweeted that the space agency "is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It's time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources."

The moon holds hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of untapped resources, including fifteen lanthanides, as well as scandium and yttrium - used in modern electronics. There's also an abundance of Helium-3, a very rare gas, with the potential to fuel clean nuclear fusion power plants. This infographic from 911Metallurgist.com explains why NASA has set its eyes on the moon: 

"Across history, human development has relied upon the finite resources available on Earth. But the moon - a seemingly barren rock - may actually be a treasure trove of rare resources vital to Earth's future. And now, nations are looking upwards to a potential lunar gold rush," 911Metallurgist.com states in the infographic's intro. 

?In a blog post, Bridenstine said NASA's Artemis project "will lay the foundation for a sustained long-term presence on the lunar surface and use the Moon to validate deep space systems and operations before embarking on the much farther voyage to Mars." He said the push to mine moon rocks would fully comply with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which outlines no country has a sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies.

Bridenstine said, "we're taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources." 

Adding that "when considering such proposals, we will require that all actions be taken in a transparent fashion, in full compliance with the Registration Convention, Article II and other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, and all of our other international obligations. We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity."

"This is one small step for space resources, but a giant leap for policy and precedent," Mike Gold, NASA's chief of international relations, told Reuters.

"They are paying the company to sell them a rock that the company owns. That's the product," Joanne Gabrynowicz, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law, said. "A company has to decide for itself if it's worth taking the financial and technological risk to do this to sell a rock."

NASA's attempt to begin mining the moon in 2025 could be an attempt to break China's monopoly on REMs. 

Published:9/18/2020 9:48:00 PM
[Aerospace] NASA to test precision automated landing system designed for the Moon and Mars on upcoming Blue Origin mission NASA is going to be testing out a new precision landing system designed for use on the tough terrain of the Moon and Mars for the first time during an upcoming mission of Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable suborbital rocket. The ‘Safe and Precise Landing – Integrated Capabilities Evolution’ (SPLICE) system is made up of […] Published:9/18/2020 9:42:06 AM
[Markets] The Holy Grail Of Endless Energy: Harvesting Blackholes The Holy Grail Of Endless Energy: Harvesting Blackholes Tyler Durden Thu, 09/17/2020 - 04:20

Authored by Alex Kimani via OilPrice.com,

A year ago, House representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, proposed the Green New Deal, a nonbinding congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change by meeting 100% of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.

While the future of the clean energy proposal remains uncertain, the majority of Americans have been reading from the same page regarding what needs to be done: Dramatically cutting down the country's reliance on fossil fuels over the next two decades is critical to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and address climate change, with six in 10 U.S. adults saying they would favor policies with this energy goal. 

Thankfully, scientists have been researching alternative energy solutions like wind and solar power for decades, including lesser-known sources that may seem a little unusual or even downright ridiculous and unrealistic.

You can chalk up harvesting energy from blackholes to the latter category.

Fifty years ago, British mathematical physicist, Roger Penrose, proposed a seemingly absurd idea how an alien society (or future humans) could harvest energy from a rotating black hole by dropping an object just outside its sphere of influence also known as the ergosphere where it could gain negative energy. Since then, nobody has been able to verify the viability of this seemingly bizarre idea--that is until now.

Half a century later, researchers have finally proven that Mr. Penrose really was onto something big.

The Penrose Process

Blackholes have captured the imagination of astrophysicists ever since the first one was discovered in 1971--and for good reason. After all, they are some of the strangest and most fascinating objects in outer space. 

Blackholes represent the end-stage of the life cycle of stars so massive that, once it's gone supernova, the core can no longer withstand its own gravity and collapses totally into a singularity--a single one-dimensional point of infinite density. This singularity sits inside a region called the event horizon--the point at which the gravity around the black hole is so strong, not even light-speed is sufficient to achieve escape velocity.

Back in 1969, Roger Penrose proposed that if an object splits into two and one part falls into the black hole, the other part can be retrieved with more energy than the original object, because it has lost negative energy--basically saying a minus of a minus makes a plus!

Two years later, Russian physicist Yakov Zel’dovich adapted this idea and translated it to other rotating systems that we could test back on Earth. Zel’dovich predicted that waves with angular momentum--also known as “twisted waves”--reflected from a rotating metal cylinder will be amplified. The cylinder sees these twisted waves to be rotationally Doppler shifted , that is their frequency changes depending on the rotation speed. This is similar to the linear Doppler shift where the pitch of a police siren changes as it speeds past.

If Zel’dovich’s cylinder rotates fast enough then something very odd happens. The Doppler shifted frequency becomes negative. These negative frequency waves just appear to us as normal positive frequency waves. But remarkably this changes the way the waves interact with the cylinder. The metal usually absorbs the waves. But when the Doppler frequency goes negative, the absorption becomes amplification and the reflected wave has more energy than when it went in. Like with Penrose’s aliens and the rotating black hole, the twisted waves have taken energy from the rotating absorbing cylinder.

There was just one problem with Zel'dovich's original proposal: The speed of the rotating cylinder needs to be at least 1 billion rotations per second--well beyond anything we can achieve mechanically without centrifugal pieces ripping the whole thing apart.

So there was no was no way to physically validate the theory--until a team of physicists from the University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy in Scotland came along. They devised an experiment based on Zel'dovich's work but used sound waves instead of lightwaves. Sound waves are a million times slower than light waves, meaning the rotating disc does not need to spin nearly as fast.

Their experiment consisted of a ring of speakers set up to introduce a twist in the sound waves, analogous to the twisted light in Zel'dovich's experiment. A rotating sound absorber made out of a foam disc was analogous to the rotating blackhole, the rotation of which would speed up as the sound waves hit it. They used a ring of speakers to create a twisted sound wave on the other side of the disc and directed it towards a rotating sound absorber and placed microphones behind the foam that also rotate, to measure the Doppler shifted waves that pass through the disc as it spins. They could play back the sound recorded by the microphones as the rotation speed increases.

The results were nothing short of amazing. As the disc's rotation accelerated, the pitch of the sound hitting the microphones lowered until it was inaudible, then began to rise again back to the original pitch - but  a good 30% louder than the sound coming from the speakers. In essence, the sound waves were picking up additional energy from the rotating disc.

What you actually hear is the frequency of the twisted wave being Doppler shifted to zero, where it becomes too low to hear, then it gets louder again with increasing negative frequency.

If you plot the amplitude of the sound signal of the twisted wave, you notice that the sound is distinctly louder after the Doppler frequency has gone from positive to negative. In other words, the amplitude of the negative frequency waves is much larger when the absorber is rotating.

The area shaded in red is the region where the waves are taking energy from the absorber’s rotational energy. This amazing amplification effect lies at the heart of Penrose’s proposal to extract energy from black holes and could guide new experiments towards amplification of electromagnetic waves, and maybe even quantum fluctuations.

Obviously, this experiment does not not explicitly verify that Penrose’s idea for energy extraction will actually work for a black hole. Rather, it proves something that seems counter-intuitive: That shifting wave frequencies from positive to negative actually results in the waves gaining, rather than losing, energy.

We are still a long way off extracting energy from rotating black holes. Still, the latest experiment by the University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy provides a nice proof of concept that could open up new and exciting avenues of scientific exploration.

Published:9/17/2020 3:36:18 AM
[Climate] Fire Fanaticism (2) (Steven Hayward) The western fires haven’t gone away yet, and likewise it is too much to hope that the climatistas would give up their narrative that climate change is the dominant factor in increasing fire area and intensity. Herewith a second helping of some facts and data to supplement our previous item on this topic. Start with NASA’S Earth Observatory, which presents data showing that on the global scale wildfires actually declined Published:9/16/2020 9:04:41 PM
[Right Column] NASA’s lead global warming scientist Gavin Schmidt: ‘Most climate deniers are sociopaths’ – Says Morano is also an ‘awful person’
Dr-Gavin-Schmidt-Climatologist-Director-NASA-Goddard-Institute
NASA's Director of its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Dr. Gavin Schmidt smeared scientific dissenters of man-made climate change claims on September 12, 2020: "A reminder (if one was needed) that most climate deniers are sociopaths," Schmidt wrote about Climate Depot's Marc Morano. Dictionary.com defines a "sociopath" as "a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience." 
 "There is no ‘mode of discourse’ that will make Morano suddenly stop being an awful person who is (well) paid to try to prevent any efforts to reduce fossil fuel use by fair means or foul. So, might as well call it as one sees it," Schmidt addedSchmidt has a long history of political and policy activism at NASA. 
Published:9/14/2020 11:39:49 AM
[TC] Blue Origin’s human lunar lander all-star space team completes first key milestone for Moon mission Blue Origin, along with it partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper, was one of three companies to be awarded contracts by NASA to develop human lunar landers for future Moon missions. Blue Origin’s so-called ‘National Team’ is focused on developing a Human Landing System (HLS) for NASA to support its efforts to return human […] Published:9/14/2020 11:09:24 AM
[Aerospace] NASA is looking to buy Moon dirt from private companies – no return shipping required NASA wants to procure samples of lunar soil from private contractors, the agency announced today in a blog post by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. This is part of the agency’s overall ambitions around returning humans to the Moon by 2024, and establishing a sustained human research presence there. NASA is asking for proposals from commercial […] Published:9/10/2020 9:02:23 AM
[Markets] Nikola Shares Drop After Hindenburg Research Calls It A "Intricate Fraud", Compares It To Theranos Nikola Shares Drop After Hindenburg Research Calls It A "Intricate Fraud", Compares It To Theranos Tyler Durden Thu, 09/10/2020 - 08:54

Nikola shares are selling off pre-market in response to a new report from Hindenburg Research, which calls it an "intricate fraud" based on conversations with former employees.

"Today, we reveal why we believe Nikola is an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies over the course of its Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton’s career," the report claims.

"We have gathered extensive evidence—including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails and behind-the-scenes photographs—detailing dozens of false statements by Nikola Founder Trevor Milton. We have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size."

The report was followed by Tweets that appear to show various types of deception from the company. For example, one Tweet claims that Nikola's "One" semi truck was just rolling down a hill in a video where the company claimed it was "in motion.

Similar claims seem to show that the Nikola One was not powered on its own during its 2016 reveal, previously called into question by Bloomberg several months. Rather, the report notes there was 

The report calls the reveal a "total farce".

Additionally, the report points out that inverters claimed to be made in-house from Nikola appear to have been bought from another company, with pieces of masking tape covering up their logo.

The report also questions some key hires at Nikola.

And calls into question the company's supposed battery technology. 

The report comes just days after Nikola inked a partnership with General Motors, wherein GM would be supplying Nikola with fuel cells and production capacity - leaving many to wonder what, if anything Nikola was bringing to the deal. We imagine those skeptics will want to dig through this morning's report.

You can read the entire report here.

Published:9/10/2020 8:03:48 AM
[Markets] Trump Administration To Invest $1 Billion In Quantum Computing, AI Trump Administration To Invest $1 Billion In Quantum Computing, AI Tyler Durden Sat, 08/29/2020 - 16:15

Authored by Alan McDonnell via The Epoch Times,

The Trump Administration announced awards of more than $1 billion Wednesday for the establishment of 12 new artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) research & development institutes across the United States. The administration says it is taking the action to ensure American leadership in what it termed “industries of the future,” which include 5G and other critical technologies.

With the support of the White House, the National Science Foundation‘s (NSF’s) AI Research Institutes and the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) QIS Research Centers will serve as hubs for innovation and research & development.

“Today, the Trump Administration is making an unprecedented investment to strengthen American leadership in AI and quantum, and to ensure the Nation benefits from these emerging technologies. Built upon the uniquely American free market approach to technological advancement, these institutes will be world-class hubs for accelerating American innovation and building the 21st century American workforce,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Michael Kratsios in a statement.

The technology chief said that such technologies were currently being used to fight the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.

“The U.S. is using every tool at its disposal to defeat the novel coronavirus, including artificial intelligence,” Kratsios wrote in an Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal on May 27.

However, AI technology is not only being used to combat disease, he cautioned.

“At the same time, AI is being twisted by authoritarian regimes to violate rights. The Chinese Communist Party is reportedly using AI to uncover and punish those who criticize the regime’s pandemic response and to institute a type of coronavirus social-credit score - assigning people color codes to determine who is free to go out and who will be forced into quarantine.”

United States Continues to Lead

According to a National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science report from 2018 (pdf), the United States can harness quantum information science to “improve its industrial base, create jobs, and provide economic and national security benefits.” The report mentioned previous examples of American scientific ingenuity that laid the foundation for a host of critical modern technologies.

“Prior examples of QIS-related technologies include semiconductor microelectronics, photonics, the global positioning system (GPS), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),” the report said. “These underpin significant parts of the national economic and defense infrastructure. Future scientific and technological discoveries from QIS may be even more impactful.”

“The Department of Energy is a staunch supporter of cutting edge research to advance quantum information science,” said Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, in a statement. “I am proud to lead an Agency committed to developing industries of the future by making investments today to accelerate American innovation.”

In a joint statement from The White House, Kratsios and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination, Chris Liddell, said that

“The establishment of these new national AI and QIS institutes will not only accelerate discovery and innovation, but will also promote job creation and workforce development. NSF’s AI Research Institutes and DOE’S QIS Research Centers will include a strong emphasis on training, education, and outreach to help Americans of all backgrounds, ages, and skill levels participate in our 21st-century economy.”

The White House statement says the administration also views the research facilities as a manifestation of the United States’ free-market approach to the advancement of technology, as they leverage the efforts of the Federal government, American industry, and academia for the betterment of the Nation.

“As history has shown, America is a country of thinkers, doers, and innovators,” Kratsios and Liddel said. “The United States is the proud home of the greatest technological breakthroughs the world has ever known, from creating the modern Internet to putting humans on the moon. Emerging technologies like AI and QIS will lead to transformative benefits for the American people in healthcare, communications, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, security, and beyond.

Funding Appropriation

A total of 7 AI research institutes will receive funding to the tune of $140 million over 5 years from the NSF and other federal partners, and will focus on the fields of synthetic manufacturing, machine-learning, precision agriculture, and forecasting prediction. The research efforts will be carried out at universities including the Universities of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, and California, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As the largest non-defense funding body for research & development in the field of AI, the NSF plans to make over $300 million in awards over the coming years.

In order to set up the QIS research centers, the Department of Energy will award $625 million over the next five years to the Oak RidgeArgonneBrookhavenFermi, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. In addition, the private sector will provide a further $300 million in funding.

Published:8/29/2020 3:23:06 PM
[Markets] "Return Of The Dust Bowl? The "Megadrought" In The Southwest Is Really Starting To Escalate "Return Of The Dust Bowl? The "Megadrought" In The Southwest Is Really Starting To Escalate Tyler Durden Sat, 08/29/2020 - 11:15

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

Much of the southwestern portion of the United States has been gripped by a drought that never seems to end, and there is a tremendous amount of concern that patterns that we witnessed back during the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s may be starting to repeat. 

In a previous article, I discussed the extreme heat that we have been seeing in the region lately.  Phoenix has never had more days in a year when the high temperature has hit at least 115 degrees, and other southwestern cities have been smashing records as well.  At the same time, precipitation levels have been very low, and the combination of these two factors is starting to cause some major problems.

A couple of weeks ago, NASA posted an article on their official website about the horrible drought conditions that we are now witnessing…

As the United States moves into the last weeks of climatological summer, one-third of the country is experiencing at least a moderate level of drought. Much of the West is approaching severe drought, and New England has been unusually dry and hot. An estimated 53 million people are living in drought-affected areas.

Since NASA posted that article, things have gotten even worse.  If you go to the U.S. Drought Monitor website, you will instantly see why so many experts are deeply concerned.  The latest map shows that nearly the entire southwestern quadrant of the country is now gripped by either “severe” or “extreme” drought.  Needless to say, this is not good news at all for farmers and ranchers in the region.

Colorado is one of the states that is being hit the hardest.  At this point, more than 93 percent of the entire state is experiencing very serious drought conditions

According to United States Drought Monitor, drought conditions have gotten significantly worse in Colorado in recent days and weeks.

Last week, approximately 72 percent of Colorado was experiencing “severe” drought conditions or worse. This has now jumped to just over 93 percent.

Because things have been so dry, it is really easy for the wind to pick up dust and start blowing it around, and this summer we have been seeing some really impressive dust storms.

For example, earlier this month two giant dust storms actually “converged” in the Phoenix area

Two dust storms converged over the greater Phoenix area on Sunday, hours after the city broke another record as a heat wave grips the West.

Thankfully, at this point we still have a long way to go before we return to the nightmarish conditions of the 1930s.  The “Black Sunday” dust storm that so many history books talk about was actually 1,000 miles long, and it traveled at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour…

A month later, one of the most severe storms of the era, nicknamed “Black Sunday,” enveloped the Great Plains. It was 1,000 miles long, contained 300,000 tons of dust, and traveled up to 100 miles per hour. This weather didn’t just affect the land: Farm animals choked on dust and suffocated. At least 7,000 people died from “dust pneumonia” as a result of breathing in the fine particulates, and countless more were driven from their homes and livelihoods by the endless, swirling dirt.

Let us hope that we don’t see anything like that any time soon, but scientists are using the term “megadrought” to describe what the southwestern portion of the country is currently going through…

The western United States and parts of northern Mexico have been suffering through drought conditions on and off since the year 2000 – and unfortunately it may not let up any time soon. A new study has examined extreme droughts in the region dating back 1,200 years, and found that the current conditions have the makings of a “megadrought” that could last decades.

In fact, the lead author of that study is actually telling us that the current drought is “on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts”

“We now have enough observations of current drought and tree-ring records of past drought to say that we’re on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts,” said study lead author A. Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University, in a statement. This is “a drought bigger than what modern society has seen.”

Ultimately, the experts don’t know how long this new “megadrought” will last.

It could theoretically end next year, or it could persist for the foreseeable future.

But if it continues to intensify, it is going to become increasingly difficult for farmers and ranchers to make a living in the affected areas.

In addition, supplies of fresh water are going to become increasingly stressed.  The once mighty Colorado River is now so overused that it doesn’t even run all the way to the ocean anymore, and experts are deeply concerned about the future of the river.

In the end, this “megadrought” may force dramatic changes in cities all over the region.  Sadly, things have already gotten so bad that you can see the impact of the drought “everywhere”

“You see impacts everywhere, in snowpacks, reservoir levels, agriculture, groundwater and tree mortality,” said co-author Benjamin Cook, of Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. “Droughts are these amazingly disruptive events. Water sits at the foundation of everything.”

Those that have been following my work for many years know that I have been watching developments in the southwestern quadrant of the country for many years, and things have really started to escalate here in 2020.

What a crazy year this has been.  We are still dealing with a global pandemic, 58 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past 23 weeks, civil unrest continues to rage in our major cities and major politicians are being chased down the street, and this month we have been hit by one natural disaster after another.

Now a presidential election is rapidly approaching, and many people believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning of our problems.

Without a doubt, our world seems to be going absolutely nuts, and that should deeply alarm all of us.

Published:8/29/2020 10:24:10 AM
[a20d7647-1c6b-5544-8f29-7dc9c1b7f71a] Douglas MacKinnon: 'Election Day' asteroid – not a political omen, but it is a warning NASA is predicting it will give the Earth a very close shave the day before the presidential election. Published:8/29/2020 8:21:07 AM
[Aerospace] Boeing and NASA target December for second try at uncrewed orbital demonstration flight NASA and Boeing have provided some updates around their Commercial Crew plans, which aim to get Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft certified for regular human flight. The CST-100 and Boeing’s Commercial Crew aspirations hit a snag last year with a first attempt an an uncrewed orbital flight test, which did not go to plan thanks to a […] Published:8/28/2020 1:42:21 PM
[Markets] 'Rush-In' Interference: An Asteroid Is Heading For Earth The Day Before The 2020 Election 'Rush-In' Interference: An Asteroid Is Heading For Earth The Day Before The 2020 Election Tyler Durden Wed, 08/26/2020 - 23:25

In an event that is almost guaranteed to be called Russian meddling if President Trump wins re-election, an asteroid is expected to zoom "uncomfortably" close to the Earth the day before election day.

Celestial object 2018 VP1 is expected to fly past earth on November 2, 2020 according to the Center for Near Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a new report from Fox

The asteroid is "very small" and has an orbit that crosses the orbit of Earth. So far, computer simulations predict that there will be no collision.

Hopefully, these aren't the same computers that predicted Hillary Clinton having a 90% chance of winning the 2016 election. 

The asteroid orbits the sun every 731 days and is said to be roughly the "size of a school bus" or smaller. The Center for Near Objects Studies says there is just a 0.41% chance of it entering the Earth's atmosphere “based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days."

Even if it does enter the atmosphere, it'll burn up due to its small size, the group says. But hey, we can still hold out hope!

Published:8/26/2020 10:32:04 PM
[Aerospace] SpaceX will launch Masten’s first lander to the Moon in 2022 SpaceX has secured a contract to act as the launch partner for Masten Space Systems, one of the companies awarded a NASA launch contract under that agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Masten’s first lunar mission is set to take pace 2022 if all goes to plan, and will take the company’s XL-1 lunar […] Published:8/26/2020 2:02:43 PM
[National Security] NASA Researcher Arrested For Cooperation With Chinese Regime

A Texas A&M professor and NASA research team leader was arrested Sunday and charged with having hidden connections to Chinese state-owned enterprises and government programming, according to the Department of Justice. Zhengdong Cheng allegedly received funding and accessed sensitive information about NASA projects on the basis of false information he submitted to his university and NASA ...

The post NASA Researcher Arrested For Cooperation With Chinese Regime appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/25/2020 12:48:59 PM
[] It's happened again - professor, NASA researcher accused of collaborating with China Published:8/25/2020 9:49:14 AM
[Markets] Texas A&M Prof, NASA Researcher Arrested For Alleged China Ties Texas A&M Prof, NASA Researcher Arrested For Alleged China Ties Tyler Durden Mon, 08/24/2020 - 18:25

Authored by Ben Zeisloft via Campus Reform,

Texas A&M professor and NASA researcher Zhengdong Cheng was arrested Sunday for alleged conspiracy, false statements, and wire fraud.

According to a United States Department of Justice press release, Cheng allegedly “willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company.”

Cheng’s research grant barred him from collaborating with Chinese entities.

Cheng allegedly provided false information to Texas A&M and NASA, allowing him to receive federal funds for a research grant. Cheng is associated with Guangdong University of Technology in China and other foreign institutions of higher education. He gained access to what the DOJ called “increased access to unique NASA resources, such as the International Space Station,” resulting in better positioning at Guangdong and other universities.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers explained that “Once again, we have witnessed the criminal consequences that can arise from undisclosed participation in the Chinese government’s talent program.” He said the Department of Justice will work to “expose the exploitation of our nation and our prized research institutions."

Alan Kohler, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, said that Cheng allegedly “knowingly deceived NASA officials about his association with Chinese owned companies and universities, willingly accepted U.S. government funding, and defrauded his university.”

FBI Houston Special Agent Perrye Turner stated that Texas A&M has provided “significant assistance through their partnership with us throughout this case.”

"We worked closely with the FBI on this case, and we gladly will work with them again as needed,” Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a statement Monday.

No one in higher education takes security as seriously as we do at The Texas A&M University System. In fact, we have received several awards from the Department of Defense’s Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, including one just last month.”

Campus Reform has reported on a series of similar criminal charges against professors with ties to China. 

In late July, a professor at the University of Arkansas was indicted for receiving funds from China and failure to disclose ties to Chinese companies. Additionally, a researcher at the University of California-Davis was detained by American officials after it was discovered that she was an alleged active member of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Published:8/24/2020 5:43:21 PM
[Markets] The Margin: ‘Finally some good news’ — An asteroid is heading our way on the eve of the presidential election The odds of the celestial object, dubbed “2018VP1,” hitting the Earth are less than 1%, and even if it did, it’s only about the size of a horse, according to NASA. But there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
Published:8/23/2020 11:33:10 AM
[Markets] Close Call: Asteroid Unexpectedly Makes The Closest Pass Of Earth On Record Close Call: Asteroid Unexpectedly Makes The Closest Pass Of Earth On Record Tyler Durden Tue, 08/18/2020 - 23:25

Asteroid 2020QG just made the closely pass-by of our planet on record. The most amazing part? Scientists didn't even see it coming.

The asteroid came as close as 4,778 miles from the center of the Earth, according to NASA’s database of near Earth objects and a new report by Forbes. At its lowest point, it could have been just 1,000 miles over our heads - lower than almost all artificial satellites that are currently orbiting the Earth.

The asteroid wasn't spotted until after it passed the Earth, which is wild considering it is officially the closest call since we started following such passes nearly 100 years ago. 

The asteroid had a diameter of about 10-20 feet, according to NASA, who also says that the asteroid likely didn't pose a threat even if it had entered into the Earth's atmosphere. It would have likely burned up in the atmosphere, NASA said.

A similar sized asteroid was spotted in 2018 and, after entry into the Earth's atmosphere, "only the tiniest bits" made it to the ground. It caused no reported damage or injuries. 

And because nothing involving science or outer space can be brought up without bringing up the world's greatest faux-scientist, Elon Musk, Forbes commented that the object was "roughly the size of a Tesla Model 3, which makes you wonder for a second if the car Elon Musk famously launched towards Mars might have activated its autonomous boosters and attempted to make its way home."

Published:8/18/2020 10:32:50 PM
[Markets] School In The 'New COVID Normal': Plastic Bubbles, 8-Year-Old Arrests, & Woke Math School In The 'New COVID Normal': Plastic Bubbles, 8-Year-Old Arrests, & Woke Math Tyler Durden Fri, 08/14/2020 - 19:20

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

NASA to rename insensitive cosmic objects

You may think NASA’s mission is to take humanity to Mars and beyond.

But remember, we no longer live in a society which prioritizes actual advancement.

Far more important is making sure no one is offended.

So we may not make it to Mars, but at least the Innuit people will not be offended.

NASA announced that it will rename the “Eskimo Nebula” as well as the “Siamese Twins Galaxy” because they include racially insensitive terms, apparently rooted in colonialism.

But what about the constellation Orion– named after a Greek mythological hunter god who is alleged to have raped the Princess Merope.

Or the constellation Gemini– named after Green twins Castor and Pollus, who were part of that Argonaut band of capitalist swine who terrorized ancient civilizations in search of the Golden Fleece. . .

And isn’t the name Mars also offensive– because it celebrates the patriarchal, heteronormative violent God of War?

What about Jupiter– a notorious rapist who slept with his children?

In fact, every planet named after a Roman god should be considered offensive– Rome was the biggest colonizer of its day and routinely enslaved captives and lower class Romans.

Luckily the Visogoths held a ‘peaceful protest’ in Rome in the year 410 which resulted in much more equality– everyone was equally impoverished and defeated.

Click here to read the full story.

*  *  *

California to raise income taxes RETROACTIVELY

California just doesn’t seem to understand.

The rich continue to flee the state in droves. Companies like Tesla are out. Moving companies are overwhelmed.

And what does the state legislature do? Raise taxes on the rich. Retroactively.

A bill passed the Assembly that proposes increasing tax rates on high income Californians by up to 3.5%.

And if the bill passes, it will be effective retroactively to January 1, 2020.

California already had the highest income tax rate of any state in the US by far. But this tax hike will bring the top rate for those earning more than $5.9 million to 16.8%.

On top of that, yesterday several state lawmakers introduced a wealth tax– which would take a slice of someone’s net worth, instead of just their annual income.

Most of the people who are subject to paying these taxes are already working from home and incredibly mobile. They can easily leave the state, which will result in a tax LOSS for California. Another victory for socialism!

Click here to read the full story.

*  *  *

Kindergarteners in Thailand sealed in plexiglass cubicles

Thai kindergarteners’ days are so structured now because of Covid, that any semblance of free play and exploration is gone.

Take a look at the pictures from one elementary school, and you will think you’re looking into a dystopian future– maybe that’s where we are.

Children are separated by plexiglass barriers at desks, and isolated in plastic cubicles to play. They stand where they’re told and wear masks and face shields all day long.

This is not an education– it is indoctrination.

But in Thailand, just like in the US, homeschooling is legal– no one has to put up with this.

Especially when the psychological factors may be worse than the disease.

Click here to read the full story.

Cop can’t fit handcuffs on 8 year old arrested in school

Body camera footage has been released from an incident in December 2018 where a police officer arrested, fingerprinted, mugshotted, and charged an 8 year old boy with battery.

It took nine months in court before it reached a rational adult– a judge who dismissed the case.

To be clear, this is a different incident from others we have discussed, like the cop who arrested a six year old girl in school, and a cop who handcuffed an 8 year old autistic boy.

But the similarity in every case is that no one stepped in to say, “hey maybe we shouldn’t be arresting children for basic childhood misbehavior.”

In this case, the boy wasn’t sitting properly at lunch, whatever that means.

A teacher thought it was appropriate to intervene physically, upon which the boy yelled, “don’t put your hands on me!” and punched the teacher in the chest.

She wasn’t injured because this is a tiny eight year old we are talking about.

Still, that was enough for police to respond, and attempt to handcuff the boy– but the boy’s wrists were too small.

Then the officer pats down the crying boy, putting his hands all over him, and escorts him to a police car. Meanwhile the cop seems to delight in telling the boy that “this is very serious” and “you’re going to jail.”

Apparently there was no sane adult to be found anywhere in this school or police department.

Click here to read the full story.

“Kindergarten Cop” cancelled

We thought the 1990 Schwarzenegger movie Kindergarten Cop would be cancelled at some point for insensitivity to non-conforming-gender identity.

At one point in the film, as Schwartzenegger teaches, a boy exclaims, “boys have a penis, girls have vaginas.”

But no, that’s not why Kindergarten Cop is being cancelled.

A planned 30th anniversary drive-in showing of the film was cancelled because it apparently glorifies police officers.

The sentence was passed, you guessed it, in a Tweet from an angry local author:

“What’s so funny about School-to-Prison pipeline . . . in which African American, Latinx and other kids of color are criminalized rather than educated. Five- and 6-year-olds are handcuffed and hauled off to jail routinely in this country.”

As the last story shows, we also recognize the problem with overzealous cops in schools. (Not that it should matter, but the boy from the last story was White.)

We’re just not sure censoring a playful Schwarzenegger film is going to deliver the revolutionary change required to tackle the problem.

But homeschooling might.

Click here to read the full story.

Math “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy”

First it was a PhD student studying mathematics who Tweeted that 2+2=4 is “because of western imperialism/colonization. . .” (we wrote about this last month.)

But this idea is catching on.

Math professors and PhD candidates from various academic institutions eagerly agreed on Twitter–

One professor who teaches math education at Brooklyn College said: “um, ya’ll must know that the idea that math is objective or neutral IS A MYTH.”

The professor also claimed that math “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy. . .” (nevermind that many early advances in arithmetic were from Persian, Arabic, Indian, and Chinese mathematicians.)

This was met with agreement from a professor of Sociopolitical Perspectives on Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Illinois; a Harvard University PhD student; and others.

In line with everything we have been saying this week, the actual objective reality that 2+2=4 takes a back seat to the “woke” belief that math is yet another racist tool of oppression.

Click here to read the full story.

San Francisco Covid relief includes funding meth lab

San Francisco has put up 2,500 homeless people in hotel rooms as part of an effort to help them social distance during Covid lockdowns.

That provided the opportunity to, for instance, start a meth lab in a tax funded hotel room.

Run a business during Covid? No.

Start a meth lab with taxpayer funds? Yes.

Click here to read the full story.

*  *  *

On another note… We think gold could DOUBLE and silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES in the next few years. That's why we published a new, 50-page long Ultimate Guide on Gold & Silver that you can download here.

Published:8/14/2020 6:30:14 PM
[Markets] Black-Hole'd? NASA To Stop Using "Inappropriate" Nicknames For Cosmic Objects Black-Hole'd? NASA To Stop Using "Inappropriate" Nicknames For Cosmic Objects Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 18:30

Authored by Melanie Sun via The Epoch Times,

NASA has announced it is revising some unofficial nicknames used to refer to cosmic objects as it joins efforts by some within the scientific community to promote values of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The U.S. space agency said in a statement on Aug. 5 that certain nicknames historically used to refer to distant planets, galaxies, or nebulae that it considers “inappropriate” will no longer be used. Instead, the agency will adopt the official International Astronomical Union designations for the cosmic objects.

“As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive, but can be actively harmful,” the agency said.

For example, what has been known as the “Eskimo Nebula” will now be referred to as NGC 2392.

According to NASA’s statement, the world “Eskimo” is “widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions.”

The agency also said it would no longer use the name “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” which it deems inappropriate for referring to NGC 4567 and NGC 4568—a pair of spiral galaxies in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.

“The agency will be working with diversity, inclusion, and equity experts in the astronomical and physical sciences to provide guidance and recommendations for other nicknames and terms for review,” it said about its ongoing review.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, explained in the statement: “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that.

“Science is for everyone, and every facet of our work needs to reflect that value,” he said.

Stephen Shih, NASA’s Diversity and Equal Opportunity associate administrator, said that the nicknames in question “may have historical or culture connotations that are objectionable or unwelcoming” and that “NASA is strongly committed to addressing them.”

“Science depends on diverse contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive,” he added.

Finally, we note that the hilarious people over at The Babylon Bee had some ideas for new names...

Source: The Babylon Bee

Published:8/9/2020 5:43:28 PM
[Markets] NASA Releases Specialized Aerial Shot Showing Extent Of Damage In Beirut NASA Releases Specialized Aerial Shot Showing Extent Of Damage In Beirut Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 15:35

NASA has released specialized overhead imagery and analysis in the aftermath of the Aug. 4 massive Beirut port explosion.

The pictures were released by the agency’s Rapid Advanced Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team in cooperation with the Earth Observatory in Singapore, and provide satellite-derived synthetic aperture radar data which reveals the extent of the damage in and around the detonation site.

"On the attached map, the dark red points, such as those in and around the port of Beirut, represent the most severe damage," the official press release reads.

The orange areas were clearly damaged, while the yellow areas were likely to have suffered somewhat less damage, and each colored pixel represents an area of ??30 meters.

The NASA press readout further details:

On the map, dark red pixels – like those present at and around the Port of Beirut – represent the most severe damage. Areas in orange are moderately damaged and areas in yellow are likely to have sustained somewhat less damage. Each colored pixel represents an area of 30 meters (33 yards).

Maps like this one can help identify badly damaged areas where people may need assistance. The explosion occurred near the city's port. It claimed more than 150 lives and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars' worth of damage.

Meanwhile, despite now raging protests in reaction to government negligence which allowed 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate to be "stored unsafely", Lebanese President Michel Aoun has rejected calls for an international investigation as a "waste of time".

“The goal of calls for an international investigation in the port case is to waste time,” the President’s media office cited him as saying.

Published:8/9/2020 2:56:03 PM
[] Woke NASA to Rename Celestial Objects That Are 'Insensitive' Published:8/9/2020 2:24:41 PM
[Middle Column] NASA Goes Woke: Bye Bye ‘Eskimo Nebula’ & ‘Siamese Twins Galaxy’ – NASA will ‘address systemic discrimination & inequality’ in ‘terminology for cosmic objects’

NASA official Aug. 5 statement: "It has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive but can be actively harmful. NASA is examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion....The Agency will be working with diversity, inclusion, and equity experts in the astronomical and physical sciences to provide guidance and recommendations for other nicknames and terms for review."

"NASA will no longer refer to planetary nebula NGC 2392 as the “Eskimo Nebula.” “Eskimo” is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions." - "NASA will also no longer use the term 'Siamese Twins Galaxy' to refer to a pair of spiral galaxies."

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in DC: “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that."

#

Reaction was swift: "Seriously: Is this what is holding us back in space? Is the Sombrero Galaxy anti-Mexican? Is the Bullet cluster too violent? Should we now say “holes of color”? wrote Eric Weinstein. "Isn’t this mostly just wallowing?" he added. "Dwarf stars will henceforth be known as volumetrically challenged stars," a Twitter critique noted.

#

Also see: NASA scientist Dr. Kate Marvel links ‘climate change’ to ‘white supremacy’ – ‘We’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy’ – Calls for climate & racial ‘justice’

Published:8/8/2020 10:16:38 AM
[Markets] Virgin Galactic Unveils Concept Images Of Supersonic Commercial Jet Virgin Galactic Unveils Concept Images Of Supersonic Commercial Jet Tyler Durden Wed, 08/05/2020 - 01:00

Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings were up 3.5% on Monday afternoon following a press release earlier in the day announcing its partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop a high-speed commercial aircraft.

Virgin entered a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rolls-Royce to design and develop engine propulsion technology for a commercial airliner that can fly at speeds over March 3.

But shares quickly tumbled after the company announced it is planning a new share sale and will delay plans to carry founder Richard Branson into space until early next year - a milestone flight seen as the beginning of the company’s tourism business.

Branson’s trip will occur in the first quarter of 2021 instead of this year, assuming two test flights “demonstrate the expected results,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement Monday as it reported earnings. The company said the share offering would generate gross proceeds of about $460 million, to be used for general purposes.

But, Virgin also released a few fantastic conceptual designs of the new supersonic commercial aircraft that would have the capacity for 9 to 19 people at an altitude above 60,000 feet. 

The now-retired Concorde flew at average cruising speed around Mach 2, which would mean the Virgin aircraft could hit speeds over 2,300 mph, or about 50% faster. 

Supersonic travel for commercial use was paused in 2000 when Air France Flight 4590 crashed shortly after takeoff. However, there's been an effort to revive supersonic travel in the late 2020s, with even talks of hypersonic flight after 2030. 

Virgin announced in May it would work with NASA on supersonic travel for commercial use. NASA has been developing a plane with new technology that would transform supersonic booms into a sonic thump, or as loud as a car door. 

Another company, developing a supersonic commercial jet, is Boom Supersonic, set to unveil its supersonic demonstrator this fall.  

George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic, said:

 "We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high-speed aircraft, which we envision as blending safe and reliable commercial travel with unrivaled customer experience. We are pleased to collaborate with the innovative team at Rolls-Royce as we strive to develop sustainable, cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft, and we are pleased to be working with the FAA to ensure our designs can make a practical impact from the start. We have made great progress so far, and we look forward to opening up a new frontier in high-speed travel."

Rolls-Royce North America Chairman & CEO Tom Bell said: 

"We are excited to partner with Virgin Galactic and TSC to explore the future of sustainable high-speed flight. Rolls-Royce brings a unique history in high-speed propulsion, going back to the Concorde, and offers world-class technical capabilities to develop and field the advanced propulsion systems needed to power commercially available high-Mach travel."

The good news for Virgin and Boom is that, none of their supersonic planes will fly passengers until the late 2020s, if not early 2030s. We've noted on several occasions, the travel and tourism industry could take 3 to 5 years to recover. 

Published:8/5/2020 12:25:16 AM
[Markets] The Pentagon's New UFO Disclosures: 75 Years Of MK Ultra Psy Ops The Pentagon's New UFO Disclosures: 75 Years Of MK Ultra Psy Ops Tyler Durden Tue, 08/04/2020 - 00:05

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In my last few articles, I have found myself writing on the theme of the emerging new system and the battle between two paradigms (multipolar vs unipolar).

Within that theme, the important issue of psy ops, false solutions and epistemological warfare which is a part of everyone’s’ daily life (whether they know it or not) arose as well. Recent events and announcements have caused me to tackle another aspect of psychological warfare in the modern age.

UFOs and You

What would you do if the American and British governments both revealed that their secret UFO programs would declassify material from each nations’ respective National Archives?

What if you found out that leading politicians like former House Majority speaker Harry Reid had allocated $22 millions of tax payer dollars to UFO research and that Obama’s former chief counsellor (and rampant pedophile) John Podesta has openly called for UFO disclosure on several public occasions since 2002 or that Hillary Clinton herself called for UFO disclosure during her presidential campaign pledges of 2015?

Would you believe these claims or would you remain skeptical? How would you decide what to do?

With the July 23 public statement from the Pentagon that “off world vehicles not made on this earth” have been kept secret for decades, this question has become extremely important.

Major opinion-shapers like Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, and even Russia Today have promoted the cause of alien disclosure for the past few years and with the most recent Pentagon announcement, fascination in little grey men has spread like wildfire.

Who’s Playing this Game?

For the past several decades, government-sponsored UFO research has largely been driven by the work of private subcontractors like Bigelow Aerospace which was founded by billionaire real estate speculator Robert Bigelow who allocated large swaths of his fortunes to the creation of organizations like the National Institute for Discovery Science which have always worked in a private capacity with governments and academia. One of Bigelow’s biggest tools was Sen. Harry Reid who not only received generous campaign funds from the billionaire between 1998-2009 but also allocated tens of millions in national defense funds to his company starting in 2007.

In 2014, the creative force driving the “UFO-disclosure cause” has taken the form of a weird organization called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science run by high level intelligence operatives and using a cardboard cut-out Tom Delonge (former lead singer of the punk band Blink 182). To the Stars has poured millions of dollars into cultural/educational and lobbying projects driven by books, movies, film and documentaries in the cause of “elevating global consciousness” in preparation for a new age of UFO disclosure.

As Delonge says in his promotional video

“through a series of meetings I was soon connected to a large group of U.S. government officials. From the CIA, to the Department of Defense to Lockheed Martin Skunkworks. These were the guys involved in the secretive government programs that dealt with these subjects.”

Some of the shadowy figures affiliated with To the Stars include a former CIA director of operations, former Deputy Assistant secretary for Defense Intelligence, former Director of Information for White House Technology, and former chief of the CIA’s counter-biological weapons program. Both Podesta and Bigelow’s Aerospace have also worked closely with Delonge’s strange group over the past six years.

Bigelow is not the only billionaire who has allocated their vast fortunes to the cause of “UFO truth”.

The Rockefeller Project

In 1993, the Disclosure Initiative was created by none other than financier Laurence Rockefeller (4th son of Standard Oil Founder John D. Rockefeller) which had a two-fold purpose:

  1. Unite all of the largest UFO research organizations in America under one umbrella organization which was promptly accomplished within one year and

  2. Massively lobby the Clinton Administration to declassify millions of documents which was done in 1994, revealing little more than mountains of anecdotal testimonies and correspondences.

During the heyday of the Rockefeller UFO Disclosure Initiative, the Clintons stayed at the Laurence Rockefeller ranch in Wyoming, during which time an early recruit to the “disclosure mission” was Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta. Podesta started going public with calls for UFO disclosure in 2002 and has continued to work with figures like Bigelow and To the Stars Academy over the next 18 years.

A fuller overview of Laurence Rockefeller’s “other” civilization-shifting programs from the 1950s-1990s can be seen here.

During the Clinton White House years, Laurence Rockefeller recruited a bodybuilding biologist named Stephen Greer to become the controller of the Disclosure Project which has provided his meal ticket to this very day. Greer has given thousands of interviews promoting the narrative that NASA’s Apollo Lunar projects were stopped in 1972 merely because the aliens who have been stationed on the Moon for eons didn’t want the truth to leak out (but were at least kind enough to let U.S. keep the technology they gave U.S. earlier in Roswell in the 1950s). If you believe in Greer’s narrative (which gets much crazier I promise), then human creative thought is actually not as special as “the shadowy forces controlling the government” wanted you to believe since space technology only existed because we stole stuff from ETs. Pretty much any inspired awe in universal creation and the power of the human mind to discover this creation with the effect of making life better through scientific and technological progress would easily be killed from this outlook.

The questions an intelligent person should now ask are:

  • Why would a leading figure of the Rockefeller dynasty devote the last decades of his life to the cause of “UFO truth”?

  • Did Laurence Rockefeller or those on his payroll or those in the CIA actually care about the right of the people to know hidden truths, or is the plan just designed to mis-direct the minds of credulous and jaded citizens into an invisible cage?

  • Might such a mis-direction prevent people from dealing with issues of America’s conversion into Nazism and accelerating disintegration?

  • Is it possible that these pedophiles, globalists, and Malthusian billionaires care less about the truth and more about inducing Americans to fixate on aliens while the republic is destroyed under economic collapse and war?

Squaring the Crop Circle

A large portion of the Disclosure Project’s work has gone into the investigation of crop circles which were first recorded in the early 1970s in Britain, and which have the peculiar characteristic of becoming increasingly well executed and complex over the course of five decades. Live Science reported that “the first real crop circles didn’t appear until the 1970s, when simple circles began appearing in the English countryside. The number and complexity of the circles increased dramatically, reaching a peak in the 1980s and 1990s when increasingly elaborate circles were produced”.

My question is: If transcendental alien races travelling at faster-than light speed, have been leaving encoded messages to U.S., then why would their artistic skills have improved so dramatically over a few years? Just a question.

MK Ultra & UFOs

Most people know of the CIA/MI6-funded mass brainwashing operation known as MK Ultra which was launched in 1953. Very few people have recognized the connection between MK Ultra and the rise of the UFO movement that grew in spades throughout the Cold War.

While U.S. and UK government UFO investigations did occur in piece meal starting in 1947 under Project Sign (1947), and Project Grudge (1949), it wasn’t until 1950 that official tax payer-funded departments were created in both nations to pursue “UFO research”. These took the form of the USA’s Project Blue Book (1952) which itself was modelled on the work conducted by Britain’s 1950 “Flying Saucer Working Party” spear-headed by Sir Henry Tizard (Chief Science Advisor to the Ministry of Defense and Chairman of Britain’s Defense Research Policy Committee).

Journalist Naomi Klein stated in her book The Shock Doctrine that Tizard played a leading role in the creation and funding of MK Ultra during a high level meeting in Montreal and Tizard’s Wikipedia entry notes that:

“One of the most controversial meetings he had to attend in his capacity as chair of the National Research Commission would only emerge many years later with the de-classification of CIA documents, namely a meeting on June 1st, 1951 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal Canada, between Tizard, Omond Solandt (chairman of Defence Research and Development Canada) and representatives of the CIA to discuss “brainwashing”.

This Ritz-Carleton meeting would lay the seeds for MK Ultra that was not only designed to deal with brainwashing, but created LSD, and explored the matter of breaking down a human mind into a blank slate with the explicit intention of reconstructing minds from scratch. As Klein’s book eloquently showcases, the intention was to use these discoveries on a national scale in order to conduct “shock therapy” on nations in order to break cultures and nations from their historic memories and traditions with the purpose of reconstructing them under a post-nation state (and post truth) neo liberal world order. While MK Ultra was funded by the Americans, the guidance for this operation were always driven by London’s Tavistock Clinic. A bone chilling expose of this clinic was produced by EIR’s Jeffrey Steinberg in 1993 which may keep you up at night.

As one can imagine, the very act of providing government funds to investigate flying saucers was itself sufficient to legitimize the existence of aliens in the minds of millions of Europeans and Americans during the Cold War years. During these dark years, faith in honest government collapsed under the imperial wars of Korea, Vietnam abroad and the growth of the Military Industrial Complex and McCarthyism at home. The world of secret patents, secret weapons, secret R&D that developed during this period in facilities like Area 51 made the frequent sightings by civilians and even un-vetted military pilots of “unidentified flying aircraft” an expected occurrence.

Flying Saucers and Area 51

In her 2012 book Area 51 Uncensored, journalist Annie Jacobson provided lengthy detail of the Cold War experiments, aerospace technology and nuclear bomb testing that took place at Area 51 during this period which largely fed off the earlier social engineering experiment of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds emergency broadcast read aloud in 1938. The mass panic that ensued the broadcast provided an insight into the levers of mass psychology that certain social engineers drooled over.

What could account for observed UFO phenomena?

In an interview with NPR Radio, Jacobson stated:

“The UFO craze began in the summer of 1947. Several months later, the G2 intelligence, which was the Army intelligence corps at the time, spent an enormous amount of time and treasure seeking out two former Third Reich aerospace designers named Walter and Reimar Horten who had allegedly created [a] flying disc. 

...American intelligence agents fanned out across Europe seeking the Horton brothers to find out if, in fact, they had made this flying disc.”

During WWII, the Horten brothers were associated with the Austrian scientist Viktor Shauberger whose innovative designs for implosion (vs explosion) flying technology utilized water currents, and electromagnetism to generate flying machines that by all surviving accounts flew faster than the speed of sound. While much of his research was confiscated and classified by victor nations after WWII, Schauberger was promised government sponsorship in America which induced the inventor to move across the Ocean where Canada’s Avro Arrow program sought his designs for supersonic nuclear missile delivery aircraft. When he discovered that his work would only be used for military purposes, Schauberger pushed back and over the course of several months, his patents were essentially stolen, and he returned to Austria to die broke and depressed in 1958.

The Strategic Importance of Space

It was never a secret that the post-1971 globalized world order championed by the likes of Sir Henry Kissinger, David and Laurence Rockefeller and other Malthusians throughout the 20th century was always designed to collapse. With the mass shock therapy that such a collapse would impose upon the world, it was believed that a deconstruction of the Abrahamic traditions that governed western society for 2000 years could be accomplished and a new society could be socially engineered in the image of the Brave New (depopulated) World that would live like happy sheep forever under the grip of a hereditary alpha class and their technocratic managers.

The only problem which these social engineers have encountered in recent years is the re-emergence of actual statesmen who are unwilling to sacrifice their people and traditions on the altar of a new global Gaia cult. Such defenders of humanity’s better traditions have launched the multipolar alliance and have driven a policy of long-term growth and advance scientific and technological progress which is embodied brilliantly by the New Silk Road, and its extensions to the Arctic. The most exciting aspect of this New Silk Road/Multipolar Paradigm is the leap into space exploration as the new frontier of human self-development which has not been seen since the days of President Kennedy.

With China and Russia signing a pact to jointly develop lunar bases and the NASA Artemis Accords calling for international cooperation on Lunar and Mars resource development/industrialization, the age of unlimited growth that was lost with the LSD-driven mass psychosis of 1968’s “live in the now” paradigm shift may finally be recaptured. Programs designed to put humanity’s focus on real objective threats like Asteroid collisions, and solar-induced new ice ages are seriously being discussed by leaders of Russia, China and the USA.

There are billions of suns and potentially billions of galaxies, and chances are there is indeed life on many of the planets orbiting some of the stars within our growing, creative universe… and there is also a fair chance that cognitive life has also emerged on some of those planets. The best way to find out however is not to sit at home while the world economic system collapses under a controlled disintegration thinking about Rockefeller-funded conspiracy theories, but rather to fight to revive humanity’s open system destiny starting with a cooperative space program to extend human culture and economy to the Moon and Mars, and then onto other planetary bodies followed by missions to deep space.

If other civilizations exist, maybe it is our duty to take up the torch left to U.S. by JFK and go find them.

Published:8/3/2020 11:22:51 PM
[Aerospace] Virgin Orbit to fly 11 satellites for NASA on second orbital launch demo later this year Virgin Orbit’s first attempt at an orbital launch demo may not have gone entirely to plan (the LauncherOne rocket released as planned but its flight was cut short just after that), but it has booked a payload for its next try – 11 science satellites selected by NASA and primarily designed and built by U.S. […] Published:8/3/2020 11:15:40 AM
[Markets] Hurricane Isaias Barrels Towards Virus-Infected South Florida  Hurricane Isaias Barrels Towards Virus-Infected South Florida  Tyler Durden Sat, 08/01/2020 - 07:37

Hurricane Isaias has maximum sustained winds of around 85 mph Saturday morning, and strengthening is possible through the day as the storm barrels towards South Florida. The storm is slated to move up the East Coast later this weekend into next week, potentially unleashing torrential rain, high winds, and dangerous flooding in virus-infected states.

The Hurricane Center (NHC) latest Isaias update:

Hurricane warnings were posted for Boca Raton to the Volusia-Brevard county line. Miami Mayor Carlos Giménez told residents Friday that more than a dozen evacuation centers were ready to serve the community with social distancing measures. 

"We still don't think there is a need to open shelters for this storm, but they are ready," Giménez said.

NHC expects 2 to 4 feet storm surge from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, with 1 to 3 feet just north Miami Beach

Here's the current track of the storm. 

Daily Mail tweets the hurricane may prevent NASA astronauts from returning to Earth on Sunday. 

Florida has emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the state registered a record 253 coronavirus deaths Friday with the hurricane fast approaching.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a state of emergency for counties along the Atlantic coast. He said the state is "fully prepared for this and any future storm during this hurricane season." 

Spaghetti models show Isaias' potential track is to ride the Florida coastline late Saturday through early Monday. The storm is expected to follow the East Coast, arriving in North Caroline early Tuesday, and New York City by Wednesday. 

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, NHC is "issuing advisories" for more potential storms to develop next week. 

Published:8/1/2020 7:09:14 AM
[Science, Technology, and Social Media] United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches Mars 2020 Mission for NASA

By Duncan Idaho -

Launch Marks ULA’s 20th Mission to the Red PlanetA United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars 2020 mission with the Perseverance rover for NASA, lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on July 30 at 7:50 a.m. EDT. ULA and its heritage rockets have launched every U.S. led ...

United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches Mars 2020 Mission for NASA is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:7/31/2020 2:55:44 AM
[Aerospace] Watch NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover launch live NASA is set to launch its newest rover to Mars later this morning. The liftoff is set for 7:50 AM EDT (4:50 AM PDT), with a broadcast beginning at 7:00 AM EDT (4:00 AM PDT). This mission will launch a ULA Atlas V rocket to carry the Perseverance rover to Mars with a trip that […] Published:7/30/2020 6:29:04 AM
[World] The Private Space Race Published:7/28/2020 11:36:46 PM
[Science, Technology, and Social Media] United Launch Alliance Atlas V Set to Launch Mars 2020 Mission for NASA Launch to Mark ULA’s 20th Mission to the Red Planet

By Duncan Idaho -

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch NASA’s Mars 2020 mission with the Perseverance rover. The launch is on track for July 30 at Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch is planned for 7:50 a.m. EDT at the ...

United Launch Alliance Atlas V Set to Launch Mars 2020 Mission for NASA Launch to Mark ULA’s 20th Mission to the Red Planet is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:7/28/2020 9:06:59 AM
[Aerospace] NASA reveals the astronauts who will fly on SpaceX’s second operational Crew Dragon spacecraft mission NASA and SpaceX are looking to finish up the final demonstration mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon astronaut spacecraft at the end of this week, but it’s already looking ahead to Crew-2 – the second operational flight of Crew Dragon, currently set for sometime next spring. The agency revealed the four people that will fly aboard […] Published:7/28/2020 9:06:59 AM
[Markets] US Closer To Developing Small Nuclear Reactors That Sustain Life On The Moon & Mars US Closer To Developing Small Nuclear Reactors That Sustain Life On The Moon & Mars Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 20:20

The US Department of Energy issued an unusual statement on Friday calling for private sector help in its years-long project to develop technology that would sustain future civilizations on the moon as well as Mars.

At least back to 2018, NASA and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have been working on a portable nuclear reactor to power deep-space exploration, such as human missions to Mars in the next decade and beyond.

"Small nuclear reactors can provide the power capability necessary for space exploration missions of interest to the Federal government," the Energy Department wrote Friday.

The Dept. of Energy call for partners reads as follows: 

Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA), the managing and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is seeking information from leaders in the nuclear and space industries to develop innovative technologies for a fission surface power (FSP) system that can be operated on the moon. The request for information can be viewed here. Responses are sought by Sept. 8. After receiving responses, INL will issue a request for proposal.

According to Time Magazine commentary, the plan includes two phases, described as first, "Developing a reactor design" and second: "building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander that can transport the reactor to the moon."

"The goal is to have a reactor, flight system and lander ready to go by the end of 2026," the report says.

Via Scrabbl

That date seems extremely ambitious, also given that to be rocketed up into space by either NASA or SpaceX, the portable rectors would have to be under 7,700 pounds, would be capable of generating uninterrupted electricity of at least 10 kilowatts, and must be able to run autonomously for a minimum of ten years. 

Numerous companies have for the past few years been developing portable nuclear power for earthly applications, including TerraPower, a Seattle-area venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

* * *

Published:7/25/2020 7:46:03 PM
[Aerospace] NASA to fly a football stadium-sized high-altitude balloon to study light from newborn stars NASA’s latest mission won’t actually reach space – but it will come very close, with a massive observation craft made up of a football stadium-sized high-altitude balloon, along with a special stratospheric telescope instrument that can observe wavelengths of light blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, cast from newly-formed stars. The mission is called the ‘Astrophysics Stratospheric […] Published:7/24/2020 7:38:03 AM
[Aerospace] SpaceX and NASA target September for first operational astronaut crew launch SpaceX and NASA are aiming to launch the first official operational mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon human-rated spacecraft sometime in September, the agency revealed via a media update this week. The launch had been tracking towards an August date, but the updated timeframe indicates “late September,” allowing time for the completion of the current […] Published:7/23/2020 10:01:04 AM
[Aerospace] SpaceX and NASA targeting early August for Crew Dragon return with astronauts on board SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has been docked at the International Space Station (ISS) since its historic first crewed launch in May, but it’s getting ready to make its return trip. NASA had planned to keep the spacecraft and astronauts at ISS for a while, depending on station mission needs, but they’re zeroing in on the […] Published:7/17/2020 10:15:36 AM
[Markets] Concorde 2.0? Boom Supersonic To Unveil Ultrafast Plane In October  Concorde 2.0? Boom Supersonic To Unveil Ultrafast Plane In October  Tyler Durden Tue, 07/14/2020 - 02:45

It's been 17 years since Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde, a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, flew passengers across the Atlantic at Mach 2.04 (1,341 mph). Come October, that could all change, as Boom Supersonic will unveil its supersonic demonstrator.

 

XB-1 demonstrator. h/t Boom Supersonic 

The Denver-based aerospace startup will rollout the XB-1 on October 7, powered by three GE J85-15 engines. The demonstrator will be one-third-scale but used in trial flights for the eventual debut of the 55-passenger Overture supersonic airliner by mid-2020s. 

Supersonic travel was popular in the late 1970s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Concorde was the only game in town, flying 20 jets (6 non-commercial aircraft) for 27 years. The end of commercial supersonic flight was in 2003 when Air France Flight 4590 struck debris on the runway and crashed shortly after takeoff.  

"With XB-1, we're demonstrating that we are prepared to bring back supersonic," said Blake Scholl, Supersonic Boom founder and CEO. "We're ensuring that the supersonic future is safe and environmentally and economically sustainable. We've learned that the demand for supersonic has grown even faster than we anticipated."

"To design and build XB-1, Boom has recruited a team of experts from around the industry, established supplier relationships, and built a strong safety culture. XB-1 is the first aircraft program to announce a 100% carbon-neutral flight test program. The company's innovations include one of the highest-efficiency civil supersonic intakes ever tested, demonstrating Boom's ability to deliver a breakthrough in propulsive efficiency for Overture. XB-1 will begin its test program later this year and is slated for first flight in 2021," the release stated. 

XB-1 demonstrator. h/t Boom Supersonic

The aerospace startup said a full-scale aircraft (Overture) would take to the skies in the mid-2020s and shuttle passengers around the world at Mach 2.2 (1,688 mph) by 2030. 

Overture. h/t Boom Supersonic  

Before the pandemic, the company locked in more than $6 billion worth of pre-orders for Overture, which costs $200 million per plane, with buyers included Japan Airlines and Virgin Group. 

The development of commercial supersonic jets has gained momentum in the last five years. In 2019, we noted NASA's X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) plane is set to hit the skies in the near term. The purpose of the test flight is to design future planes that generate a sonic thump (rather than sonic boom) when planes travel faster than the speed of sound. 

The good news for Boom Supersonic is that Overture won't carry passengers until 2030 or at least five years after the global recovery in air travel will be seen from the 2020 virus-induced crash.

Published:7/14/2020 1:53:10 AM
[Aerospace] NASA signs agreement with Japan to cooperate across Space Station, Artemis and Lunar Gateway projects NASA has signed a new agreement with Japan that lays out plans for the two nations to cooperate on the International Space Station (continuing existing partnership between the countries there) as well as on NASA’s Artemis program, which includes missions in lunar space and to the lunar surface. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine signed the agreement […] Published:7/10/2020 7:33:20 AM
[Aerospace] NASA pays out $51 million to small businesses with big ideas NASA has announced its latest batch of small business grants, providing more than 300 businesses a total of $51 million in crucial early-stage funding. These “phase I” projects receive up to $125,000 to help bring new technologies to market. The Small Business Innovation Research/Technology Transfer programs help entrepreneurs and inventors transition their work from lab […] Published:6/30/2020 5:53:13 PM
[Aerospace] NASA sets path for up to six more Artemis Moon exploration missions with SLS booster order NASA has laid the groundwork for an order of up to six additional SLS solid core booster rockets, from supplier Northrop Grumman, the agency announced this week. The six additional boosters would join the existing three that NASA previously locked in for use on Artemis 1, Artemis 2 and Artemis 3, which includes the targeted […] Published:6/30/2020 1:20:12 PM
[Aerospace] NASA to establish a system for flying astronauts and researchers on suborbital commercial spacecraft NASA is going to chart a path for its astronauts and other personnel to take part in future commercial suborbital spaceflight missions, letting the agency conduct experiments and do research aboard suborbital human spacecraft – including, potentially, vehicles like Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. The agency isn’t naming any individual providers yet, however, since the announcement of […] Published:6/23/2020 10:35:57 AM
[Science, Technology, and Social Media] Virgin Galactic To Develop Private Astronaut Program And Space Station Transport Under NASA Deal

By Thomas Catenacci -

Virgin Galactic and NASA have announced a deal Monday marking the beginning of a program to send private citizens into space. The Space Act Agreement will enable private citizens to purchase trips to the International Space Station (ISS), the press release said. The program may also lead to private citizens ...

Virgin Galactic To Develop Private Astronaut Program And Space Station Transport Under NASA Deal is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:6/23/2020 9:32:46 AM
[Markets] Scientists Discover "Mirror Image" Of Sun & Earth In Deep Space Scientists Discover "Mirror Image" Of Sun & Earth In Deep Space Tyler Durden Tue, 06/16/2020 - 21:45

Western researchers have discovered a mysterious exoplanet less than twice the size of Earth orbiting around a distant Sun-like star that could support life, making it the closest analog to the Earth-Sun system.

The discovery of the exoplanet KOI-456.04 orbiting the star Kepler-160 -- was made by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany and the US. The findings were published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, under the title "Transit least-squares survey III. A 1.9 R? transit candidate in the habitable zone of Kepler-160...:" 

"The star Kepler-160 is probably orbited by a planet less than twice the size of the Earth with a star-planet distance that could permit planetary surface temperatures conducive to life. The newly discovered exoplanet, which was found by a team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen, is more than just another potentially habitable world.

One of the key properties making it resemble the Sun-Earth system more than any other previously known world, is its Sun-like host star. Most of the Earth-like exoplanets known so far are in orbit around a faint red dwarf star emitting their energy mostly as infrared radiation rather than as visible light.

Most of the exoplanets from the Kepler mission are the size of Neptune and in relatively close orbits around their host stars, where temperatures on these planets would be far too hot for liquid surface water (third panel from above). Almost all of the Earth-sized planets known to have potentially Earth-like surface temperatures are in orbit around red dwarf stars, which do not emit visible light but infrared radiation instead (bottom panel).The Earth is in the right distance from the Sun to have surface temperatures required for the existence of liquid water. The newly discovered planet candidate KOI-456.04 and its star Kepler-160 (second panel from above) have great similarities to Earth and Sun (top panel). h/t MPS

The light shed on KOI-456.04 by its Sun-like host star, however, is very much like the daylight seen on our home planet. Moreover, the orbital period of KOI-456.04 around its Sun-like star is almost identical to an Earth year," read a statement from MPS. 

What makes the KOI-456.04 discovery really interesting is that the plant is orbiting the star Kepler-160 at a comparable distance as Earth's from the Sun -- suggesting life could exist. This is a mirror image and the most similar to the Earth-Sun system of any exoplanetary system discovered so far. 

 The green shaded area denotes the habitable zone... h/t MPS 

The exoplanet is three thousand light-years from Earth and has yet to be officially confirmed -- MPS said the probability of it being a real planet is 85%. 

"It cannot currently be ruled out completely that KOI-456.04 is, in fact, a statistical fluke or a systematic measurement error instead of a genuine planet. The team estimates the chances of a planetary nature of KOI-456.04 to be about 85% pro planet," MPS said.

While KOI-456.01 is still considered a planetary candidate, the probabilities are high, according to the research, that this is the real deal. 

As for other Earth-like planets, we noted earlier this year that NASA exoplanet astronomers detected bio-signatures of a planet that could support habitable conditions to potentially promote life.

Instead of Mars, Elon Musk has to think outside of this solar system if he wants to continue wowing investors. 

Published:6/16/2020 9:00:57 PM
[Aerospace] Rocket Lab successfully launches its 12th Electron, carrying NASA and NRO payloads Rocket Lab has returned to active launch status from its first launchpad in New Zealand, after the global COVID-19 pandemic temporarily paused its work there. Early this morning, it flew its 12th Electron launch vehicle from its launch site on NZ’s Mahia Peninsula, carrying payloads on behalf of the U.S. National Reconnaisance Office (NRO), NASA, […] Published:6/13/2020 7:23:55 AM
[Markets] Removing A US President Without An Election Removing A US President Without An Election Tyler Durden Fri, 06/12/2020 - 23:45

Authored by Paul Ryder via Counterpunch.org,

Five times in the last ninety years, elements of the U.S. power structure have tried to oust a sitting president without an election.

The efforts were aimed at Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.

Two attempts succeeded and three failed... so far.

Franklin Roosevelt

President Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933 as the Great Depression was battering much of the world. Workers were striking, organizing unions, and escalating their demands. Fascists had taken power in Italy and Germany and were threatening to do so elsewhere.

Prominent Wall Street bankers and industrialists said the only way to keep communism at bay was to adopt fascism and align with Italy and Germany. Roosevelt rejected that view, and the plotting began.

The plan was to have 500,000 World War I veterans march on Washington, D.C. They would overwhelm the city, reduce Roosevelt to a figurehead, and transfer power to the Wall Street plotters.

They decided Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, then the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, should lead the coup. This was a mistake. When their emissary told Butler what they had in mind, and said they could raise $300 million for it, he said, “If you get 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you and we will have a real war right at home.”

After Butler chewed them out, he reported everything to the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, including the plotters’ names he knew, officials with J.P. Morgan & Company, Guaranty Trust Company, Dupont Chemical, Singer Sewing Machine Company, and the Remington Arms Company. They all denied it, but Butler had convinced the Committee it was true.

Roosevelt did not want a public confrontation, so the House Committee quietly wrapped up its work. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover dispatched agents to tell each plotter they would be under surveillance for treasonous activities. The plot was shelved.

The lesson of this fiasco was money isn’t everything. The Wall Street titans had no experience with overthrowing a U.S. president. They had no operational arm. They did not know where to start.

John Kennedy

By the time President Kennedy took office in 1961, the military budget had grown twenty times larger in real dollars than in 1933. The money was paying for a military-industrial complex, including the Pentagon, weapons manufacturers, State Department, CIA, FBI, NSA, Atomic Energy Commission, NASA, Members of Congress, think tanks, universities, and a battalion of friendly reporters. The sprawling power system had become strong enough to perpetuate itself and to remove a president if necessary.

What the Pentagon and CIA wanted first from President Kennedy was the overthrow of the new socialist Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. They organized an assault by Cuban exiles, assuring Kennedy it would spark a successful anti-Castro uprising in Cuba. When it did not, they demanded Kennedy send in U.S. combat forces. He refused, and the Cuban army captured 1,110 Cuban exiles and killed another 114. The Bay of Pigs invasion became known as the “Bay of Pigs fiasco.” Kennedy realized the Pentagon and CIA had known all along the exiles could not succeed on their own. They had tried to trick him into a direct U.S. invasion.

Kennedy fired both CIA Director Allen Dulles and his chief Bay of Pigs planner, Richard Bissell, and threatened to “shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

CIA leaders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Defense Department were livid and continued to press him to authorize a U.S. invasion of Cuba. With the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, they saw a perfect opportunity for it. Again, Kennedy refused.

The next year, 1963, a fusillade of bullets removed Kennedy from office. His successor, Lyndon Johnson, promptly appointed the blue-ribbon Warren Commission to figure out who did it. The Commission’s day-to-day work was led by Allen Dulles, the former CIA Director JFK had fired. In the end, the Commission report declared the assassination to be the work of a deranged loner, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Most Americans were not convinced. In every one of nine Gallup polls taken since 1963, a majority of respondents have said they thought others had been involved in a conspiracy. Of the four people who knew the most about what happened — Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Fidel Castro – none agreed with the Warren Commission report.

If it was not just one loner, who was in on the conspiracy? We may never know all the details of this very cold case, such as the name of the person who fired the fatal bullet. We have learned some things, however. The easiest of these is that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination at every juncture, from preparation to execution to the cover-up.

Not only was the CIA everywhere, they had ample motive, namely Kennedy’s refusal to invade Cuba. And, unlike the Wall Street plotters of the 1930s, they had experience with covert operations, overthrowing governments, and assassinating leaders. That is what the CIA was created to do.

It is not necessary to prove the triggerman was employed by the CIA, or CIA leaders made a formal decision to kill the president, or everyone in the CIA even knew what was happening, or no one else was involved, to realize the CIA was heavily involved.

Richard Nixon

The Watergate story is familiar. President Richard Nixon ordered his staff to commit crimes and cover them up. Two budding Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, exposed him. Nixon resigned and left town in disgrace before Congress could impeach and remove him.

The story came from Woodward and Bernstein’s articles and their book, All the President’s Men (1974). Actor Robert Redford then turned it into a popular movie with the same name (1976).

In the following decades, however, this satisfying morality play has been undermined by 2,000 pages of investigative books by Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda, 1984), Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin (Silent Coup, 1991), James Rosen (The Strong Man, 2008), Russ Baker (Family of Secrets, 2009), Phil Stanford (White House Call Girl, 2013), Tim Weiner (One Man Against the World, 2015) and Ray Locker (Nixon’s Gamble, 2016; Haig’s Coup, 2019).

Each examined Watergate from a different angle and found new clues to what happened. Adding all these clues creates a quite different story, showing how thoroughly the military industrial complex dominates Washington.

If you made a chart of the newly discovered CIA and Pentagon links to Watergate, it would fill a large wall. To put it another way, if you remove the CIA and the Pentagon from the story, Nixon would have completed his second term and retired with dignity.

Watergate really started in 1969, on Nixon’s first day in office. The President and his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, cut the Department of Defense, State Department, and the CIA out of foreign policy decision-making. The two men brought all policymaking into the National Security Council in the White House. They would often not inform the three main foreign policy agencies about policy changes until the last minute, fearing leaks or sabotage.

Predictably, this created chronic bureaucratic warfare between the three agencies and the White House. When there were disagreements about policy, there was no way to resolve them. Spying and leaking inevitably followed. In turn, Nixon and Kissinger told the agencies even less.

Left out in the cold, the Pentagon and the CIA moved against Nixon.

To see how this wasn’t apparent from the Woodward and Bernstein story, consider the man who was the reporters’ pipeline to the truth, a secret source called Deep Throat. Finally, in 2005, Woodward said it was former FBI Associate Director Mark Felt. Nixon had rejected Felt for the top FBI spot when long time Director J. Edgar Hoover died, so he had a plausible motive.

The mystery seemed solved, except the revisionist histories had already shown Felt was only one of many sources giving the two reporters damaging information on Nixon. Deep Throat was actually a composite character, and the bombshell stories mostly originated in two places, the Department of Defense and the CIA. These were the very agencies with which Nixon and Kissinger had been at war.

By 1974, with his trusted advisors gone, Nixon found himself relying on two Pentagon officials to help him avoid removal from office. They were Chief of Staff General Alexander Haig, most recently Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and J. Fred Buzhardt, who was both Special White House Counsel for Watergate Matters and General Counsel for the Department of Defense.

Not surprisingly, these two military men spent months maneuvering Nixon into deeper trouble. After the House Judiciary Committee sent impeachment articles to the House floor, Nixon knew the House would impeach him and the Senate would convict and remove him. Nixon resigned.

Bill Clinton

In 1998, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice concerning his sexual exploitation of a 22-year-old White House intern. The case then went to the U.S. Senate, where the Constitution required a two-thirds vote of the Senators present to convict and remove Clinton. The two impeachment articles failed, and Clinton completed his second term.

Why did the Republicans fail? In the Senate, the Republican advantage was only 55-45, well short of the 67-vote supermajority needed to convict and remove Clinton.

Since Bill Clinton was not at odds with the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, or any other power center, the GOP couldn’t count on help persuading Democratic Senators to vote for removal. In fact, the core of Clinton’s agenda matched the 1992 Republican platform, favoring NAFTA, tough criminal sentencing, ending welfare, NATO expansion, a hard line on Cuba, and so on. The GOP knew the prospects in the Senate were hopeless.

The impeachment of Clinton, then, was not a genuine attempt to remove him. It was merely a partisan exercise in muddying up the Democrats as the 2000 election approached.

Donald Trump

The attempt to remove Donald Trump, called Russiagate, began as a 2016 campaign attack by Hillary Clinton. The charges against him continued in the press after Election Day, and ever since. In 2019, Democrats took a variation on Russiagate, called Ukrainegate, and used it to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives. The GOP-controlled Senate inevitably did not convict him. It ended up as a replay of the Clinton impeachment. Trump stayed in the Oval Office.

What exactly was the Democrats’ plan? A successful Senate vote was never possible, so why would the Democrats devote three and a half years just to get an impeachment without removal?

From their actions, it appears the Democrats were fixed on Watergate as the model for ousting a president without an election.

That would be understandable. All but one of the top Democratic politicians in 2016 had been young adults during Watergate. In 1974, Bill Clinton was 28, Hillary Clinton was 27, Nancy Pelosi was 34, Harry Reid was 35, Chuck Schumer was 24, Joe Biden was 31, John Podesta was 25, and David Axelrod was 19. They were absorbing the Watergate story every day. The exception, Barack Obama, was only 13 at the time. Watergate would be their frame of reference.

Accordingly, the Democrats staged a Watergate-style morality play, with Donald Trump playing the role of Richard Nixon. It was complete with a flow of shocking revelations, dramatic Congressional hearings, a Special Counsel, indictment of underlings who could be squeezed for evidence against higher-ups, watching the president’s poll ratings skid, disapproving newspaper editorials, and peeling off votes of Republican Senators. All this was supposed to result in the president’s resignation or impeachment and removal.

It did not work.

One problem was the series of bombshell news stories coming from unnamed intelligence sources. These included the DNC hack, local election board tampering, the Christopher Steele Dossier, St. Petersburg click-bait factory, sabotaging the Vermont utility grid, and so on. One after another the stories collapsed, usually for lack of evidence.

In addition, the president’s favorability ratings did not plummet as they had during Watergate. Richard Nixon’s approval rating fell from 67% in January 1973 to 24% by the time he resigned. By contrast, Donald Trump’s approval rating, 45% in January 2017, had only fallen to 44% by the time of his impeachment.

The underlying problem was the Democrats did not understand Watergate. They thought Nixon was foiled by tenacious crusading reporters and their savvy editor. In fact, Nixon ran afoul of the military industrial complex, which guided the press to the outcome it wanted.

In the case of Trump, the Pentagon, CIA, and the rest understood how to manage the new president. They would tolerate his rally outbursts, NATO tantrums, and raving midnight tweets because they knew they could get what they wanted from him when it mattered.

While the Democrats labored to portray Trump as soft on Russia, his actual policies have been in line with the bi-partisan foreign policy consensus to give the Pentagon and weapons manufacturers what they want. This includes sharp increases in overall military spending, a trillion dollars in new nuclear weapons, new types of nuclear weapons, destroying a series of U.S.-Russian arms control treaties, advancing NATO to the Russian border, tough economic sanctions on Russia, providing weapons to Ukraine and Poland to use against Russia, killing Russians in Syria, ejecting Russian diplomats from the United States, conducting war exercises on Russia’s border, and trying to stop Russian energy exports to Europe.

If the Democrats had understood Watergate, they would have noticed a key condition was missing: aggravated conflict between the president and the military-industrial complex. That is why the Democrats failed.

Of course, as 2020 election day approaches, President Trump has managed to create a triple crisis — his bungled COVID-19 response, the resulting economic paralysis, and his inciting a coast-to-coast police rampage — which may doom him with no effort by the Democrats. No one knows at this point.

It is fair to say, however, that if Trump can’t regain his composure and resolve his current clash with the Pentagon, he will be taught a cold lesson about power.

Published:6/12/2020 10:51:47 PM
[Aerospace] NASA taps Kathy Leuders to lead its human spaceflight efforts NASA has selected a new top official to oversee all of its efforts regarding human spaceflight – Kathy Leuders, who previously led NASA’s commercial crew program, starting in 2014 and culminating in the successful first crewed demonstration launch of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft last month. Leuders also previously worked on NASA’S Commercial Cargo program, which has […] Published:6/12/2020 2:49:01 PM
[Middle Column] NASA scientist Dr. Kate Marvel links ‘climate change’ to ‘white supremacy’ – ‘We’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy’ – Calls for climate & racial ‘justice’

NASA's Dr. Kate Marvel: "Climate justice and racial justice are the same thing, and we'll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy." Marvel is an Associate Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. 

NASA's climate scientists going into full political mode.  

May 2020: NASA climate scientist Dr. Peter Kalmus: ‘Race justice & climate justice are one & the same: Oppressive extractive plutocracies that colonize & kill black bodies & colonize & kill our planet are one & the same’

2016: NASA’s Lead ‘Global Warming’ Dr. Gavin Schmidt scientist goes political: Calls for a carbon tax

NASA's former head global warming scientist Dr. James Hansen was arrested multiple times protesting climate change, in making climate science a political issue.

Climate Depot Note: Climate activists have tried to link Racism and “white supremacy” to climate change for years. See: Identity politics invades climate change debate

Published:6/2/2020 4:41:56 PM
[Aerospace] SpaceX’s first crewed spacecraft successfully docks with the International Space Station SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ‘Endeavor’ successfully docked with the International Space Station as planned on Sunday morning, marking another key milestone during this historic Commercial Crew demonstration mission it’s conducting with NASA. On board Crew Dragon were NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the test pilots selected to be the first ever humans to fly […] Published:5/31/2020 9:24:36 AM
[Middle Column] NASA climate scientist: ‘Race justice & climate justice are one & the same: Oppressive extractive plutocracies that colonize & kill black bodies & colonize & kill our planet are one & the same’

NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab climate scientist Peter Kalmus: "Here's why race justice and climate justice are one & the same: The oppressive extractive plutocracies that colonize and kill black bodies and colonize and kill our planet are one and the same." 

Published:5/31/2020 8:55:44 AM
[Aerospace] Watch live as SpaceX’s first astronaut-carrying spacecraft docks with the International Space Station Today at around 10:30 AM EDT (7:30 AM PDT), SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will dock with the International Space Station, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. The two have been in flight on orbit since launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday at 3:22 PM EDT, a historic launch that […] Published:5/31/2020 8:55:44 AM
[Aerospace] SpaceX’s astronaut launch marks the dawn of the commercial human spaceflight industry SpaceX on Saturday launched two NASA astronauts aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the accomplishment is a tremendous one for both the company and the U.S. space agency. At a fundamental level, it means that the U.S. will have continued access to the International Space Station, without having to rely on continuing to buy tickets […] Published:5/30/2020 4:49:18 PM
[Markets] NewsWatch: SpaceX successfully launches U.S. astronauts into space Space Exploration Technologies Corp. on Saturday successfully launches the first astronauts into space from U.S. soil in nine years. The capsule carrying NASA astronauts reached orbit on its way to the International Space Station.
Published:5/30/2020 4:18:59 PM
[Aerospace] NASA astronauts successfully pilot SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft manually for the first time NASA astronauts Doug Hurley took over manual control of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Saturday, shortly after the vehicle’s historic first launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Crew Dragon is designed to fly entirely autonomous throughout the full duration of its missions, including automated docking, de-orbit and landing procedures, but it has manual control […] Published:5/30/2020 4:18:59 PM
[National Security] NASA Launches First Man-Based Space Mission Since 2011

NASA launched its first man-based space mission since 2011 on Saturday, revitalizing America's domestic space program which has remained largely dormant over the last decade, as Russia and China have sought to militarize the domain above Earth.

The post NASA Launches First Man-Based Space Mission Since 2011 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/30/2020 2:51:36 PM
[Aerospace] SpaceX makes history with successful first human space launch SpaceX made history today, flying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to space aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch, titled ‘Demo-2’, is for the final demonstration mission in the human rating process of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Falcon 9, meaning that once this mission is complete, the launch […] Published:5/30/2020 2:51:36 PM
[Markets] SpaceX successfully launches U.S. astronauts into space Space Exploration Technologies Corp. on Saturday successfully launched the first astronauts into space from U.S. soil in nine years. The capsule carrying NASA astronauts reached orbit on its way to the International Space Station.
Published:5/30/2020 2:51:36 PM
[Markets] Tesla CEO Elon Musk Makes History With SpaceX NASA launches two American astronauts in a spaceship atop a commercially built rocket from Musk’s space company. Published:5/30/2020 2:51:36 PM
[Markets] Watch Live: Space X And NASA Prepare For Historic Launch  Watch Live: Space X And NASA Prepare For Historic Launch  Tyler Durden Sat, 05/30/2020 - 15:10

Despite the threat of more thunderstorms, SpaceX and NASA are preparing for today's historic attempt to launch astronauts into space, via a private company. This comes several days after NASA "scrubbed" the first attempt due to weather-related issues and one day after SpaceX's Starship prototype blew up on a Texas launch pad. 

NASA officials say today's Crew Dragon launch from Kennedy Space Center, located in Merritt Island, Florida, has around 50% odds for a 15:22 ET liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket: 

"We are moving forward with the launch today," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted Saturday morning. "Weather challenges remain with a 50% chance of cancellation."

SpaceX and NASA administrators are carefully monitoring today's evolving weather situation around the launch site. As of 11:37 ET, there's a weather disturbance off the coast and could arrive inland around 14:00 to 16:00 ET, right around the time of launch. 

weather radar at 11:37ET

At 7:51 ET, SpaceX tweeted "all systems go," along with an up-close photo of the Crew Dragon atop the Falcon 9 rocket.

As per the Launch Mission Execution Forecast:

"On Sunday, the late season frontal boundary will provide some added cloudiness over the Spaceport early, but will likely push just south of the area by T-0. The primary weather concerns for launch are flight through precipitation, the thick cloud layer rule, and the cumulus cloud rule, associated with the frontal boundary," NASA's launch report said. 

The report went on to say Sunday's launch window would be at 60% and 70% chance for Tuesday, suggesting more favorable odds of launching would be seen in the week ahead. 

NASA Launch Report 

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be on the Crew Dragon mission, which would be the first manned rocket launch from US soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will be in attendance at today's launch event. 

Bridenstine tweeted, "Best selfie ever!" as he stands in front of Hurley and Behnken.

NASA will stream the launch event live on YouTube

Today's launch comes one day after SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype blew up on its test stand in Boca Chica, Texas. It doesn't produce a vote of confidence for the Crew Dragon launch.

Last week, the morning before the first launch attempt, Elon Musk, the majority owner of SpaceX, holding about 54% of the private company, said: "I'm Chief Engineer of the thing. If it goes right, it's a credit to the SpaceX/NASA team. Goes wrong, it's my fault." 

Published:5/30/2020 2:22:03 PM
[Aerospace] Watch live as SpaceX launches its first ever spacecraft with people on board SpaceX is once again preparing to make history – the private spaceflight company is set to launch its Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission in collaboration with NASA today. This is the second time they’ve prepared to launch this mission, after an attempt on Wednesday last week was scrubbed due to bad weather. Today’s attempt is set […] Published:5/30/2020 9:47:20 AM
[Syndicated Posts] President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Saturday, May 30, 2020

By R. Mitchell -

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Saturday to view the rescheduled launch of the SpaceX/NASA mission to send the first manned mission to space from the U.S. in over a decade. Keep up with Trump on Our President’s Schedule Page. ...

President Donald Trump’s Schedule for Saturday, May 30, 2020 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:5/29/2020 11:45:10 PM
[Markets] The Margin: SpaceX and NASA hope weather permits Saturday launch — watch it live at 3:22 p.m. Eastern time As was the case Wednesday, when the highly anticipated launch from the Kennedy Space Center of a SpaceX rocket in cooperation with NASA was scrubbed, the weather forecast for Saturday on central Florida’s Atlantic coast makes the rescheduled launch a 50-50 proposition.
Published:5/29/2020 6:45:34 PM
[Markets] "It Felt Like An Earthquake": SpaceX Prototype Starship Blows Up In Massive Explosion Day Ahead Of Manned Launch "It Felt Like An Earthquake": SpaceX Prototype Starship Blows Up In Massive Explosion Day Ahead Of Manned Launch Tyler Durden Fri, 05/29/2020 - 18:28

In a horribly spectacular failure with the added bad timing of coming almost exactly 24 hours ahead of SpaceX and NASA's rescheduled attempt to make history by launching two astronauts into Earth's orbit as part of work on the Commercial Crew program, set for 3:22 pm ET Saturday weather permitting, the Raptor engine in SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype blew up on its test stand in Boca Chica, Texas.

“SpaceX just experienced the biggest explosion yet at its Texas site, where it’s testing prototypes for a Mars rocket,” The Atlantic's Marina Koren reported Friday afternoon.

"A resident who lives nearby — just 2 miles away — said it felt like an earthquake," she added. Koren noted that at this point it doesn't appear anyone in the surrounding community was hurt in the massive blast which shook the area for miles. 

The explosion, which involved a bright fireball ripping high into the air with rocket debris flying, occurred about two minutes after the engine test fire run had been completed.

It happened at 1:49 central time, and set off a flurry of commentary over the safety of tomorrow's launch with humans carried to space

The test at first appeared successful but then it ruptured in a spectacular fiery explosion.

TechCrunch brings us some of the following details of the prototype explosion as follows

This was a test in the development of Starship, a new spacecraft that SpaceX has been developing in Boca Chica. Eventually, the company hopes to use it to replace its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket, but Starship is still very early in its development phase, whereas those vehicles are flight-proven, multiple times over.

SpaceX had just secured FAA approval to fly its Starship prototype for short, suborbital test flights. The goal was to fly this SN4 prototype for short distances following static fire testing, but that clearly won’t be possible now, as the vehicle appears to have been completely destroyed in the explosion following Friday’s test...

Prior stress tests of Starship prototypes have ended in similar disaster as well, but this one comes at a moment national attention has been glued to the NASA-SpaceX partnership given the manned Crew Dragon launch Saturday, though weather is still not looking ideal at this point.

Though a prototype and not the same rocket that will be used tomorrow, it can't be at all comforting to be a SpaceX/NASA astronaut scheduled for lift off tomorrow, as many have already observed. 

It no doubt takes the anxiety over tomorrow's launch to a different kind of level.

* * *

Post-explosion live feed:

Published:5/29/2020 5:43:49 PM
[Markets] US Lawmakers Propose Total Ban On STEM Visas For Chinese Students US Lawmakers Propose Total Ban On STEM Visas For Chinese Students Tyler Durden Thu, 05/28/2020 - 10:45

As the White House prepares to eject Chinese graduate students with ties to the PLA, three US lawmakers are taking things a step further - proposing a bill which would ban mainland Chinese students from studying STEM subjects in the United States.

Chinese and other international students wave flags at 2018 Columbia University commencement ceremony.

Two senators and one House member said on Wednesday that the Secure Campus Act would bar Chinese nationals from obtaining visas for graduate or postgraduate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students from Taiwan and Hong Kong would be exempt, according to SCMP.

"The Chinese Communist Party has long used American universities to conduct espionage on the United States," said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), one of the bill's sponsors, adding "What’s worse is that their efforts exploit gaps in current law. It’s time for that to end."

"The Secure Campus Act will protect our national security and maintain the integrity of the American research enterprise."

The proposed legislation comes as diplomatic relations have fractured between the world’s two largest economies. The fissures started to show during a trade war that has been rumbling on for almost two years and have only widened amid accusations about the handling of the Covid-19 disease outbreak , and the treatment of ethnic minority groups in China.

Hong Kong is the latest flashpoint after Beijing drew up a national security law that Washington says tramples on the city’s mini-constitution. The US threatened retaliation over the move. -SCMP

The bill will also tackle China's efforts to recruit talent overseas through their Thousand Talents Program, an operation launched in 2008 by the CCP which seeks out international experts in scientific research, innovation and entrepreneurship. It proposes that participants in China's recruitment of foreigners be made to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and would prohibit Chinese nationals and those participating in China-sponsored programs from receiving federal grants or working on federally funded R&D in STEM fields.

Any university, research institute or laboratory receiving federal funding would be required to attest that they are not knowingly employing participants in China's recruitment programs - a list of which the US Secretary of State would publish.

US law enforcement and educational agencies have raised red flags about undisclosed ties between federally funded researchers and foreign governments. A crackdown has included indictments and dismissals.

In January, Charles Lieber, 60, chairman of the chemistry and chemical biology department at Harvard University, was arrested and charged for lying about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Programme. -SCMP

Meanwhile, earlier this month a professor at the University of Arkansas who received millions of dollars in research grants, including $500,000 from NASA, was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud.

According to the FBI, Ang failed to disclose that he was getting paid by a Chinese university and Chinese companies in violation of university policy. He is accused of making false statements while failing to disclose his extensive ties to China as a member of the "Thousand Talents Scholars" program.

63-year-old Simon Saw-Teong Ang is the director of the school's High Density Electronics Center, which received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA. Since 2013, Ang has been the primary investigator or co-investigator on US government-funded grants totaling over $5 million, according to the Washington Examiner.

In November, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations chaired by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) released a 109-page bipartisan report which concluded that foreign nations "seek to exploit America’s openness to advance their own national interests," the most ambitious of which "has been China," according to the Examiner. According to the report, Chinese academics involved in their so-called 'Thousand Talents' program have been exploiting access to US research labs.

Backlash

According to SCMP, members of the US scientific community see the US as unfairly targeting Chinese colleagues, and that the campaigns will discourage talented individuals from pursuing studies at US universities.

"While we must be vigilant to safeguard research, we must also ensure that the US remains a desirable and welcoming destination for researchers from around the world," wrote members of 60 groups - including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Federation of American Scientists, in a 2019 letter to science policy officials.

The US lawmakers' proposal follows China's March decision to revoke the press credentials for US journalists from three major US newspapers - declaring five US media outlets to be foreign government proxies. In February, the Trump administration labeled five Chinese state media groups as "foreign missions" (via SCMP).

Published:5/28/2020 10:04:34 AM
[Markets] Barron’s on MarketWatch: What if NASA were a publicly traded stock? Barron’s on MarketWatch: What if NASA were a publicly traded stock? Published:5/28/2020 10:04:34 AM
[Politics] Trump Praises Innovation Before SpaceX Mission Scrubbed Praising the public-private co-op leading to innovation to revitalize the U.S. and NASA's space program, President Donald Trump wished well the astronauts before weather scrubbed the mission Wednesday at Cape Canaveral. Published:5/27/2020 3:46:32 PM
[Politics] WATCH LIVE: SpaceX launches NASA Astronauts to the International Space Station Elon Musk’s SpaceX is teaming up with NASA to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in their Crew Dragon spacecraft. The two NASA astronauts are named Doug Hurley (left) . . . Published:5/27/2020 2:49:24 PM
[Politics] WATCH LIVE: SpaceX launches NASA Astronauts to the International Space Station Elon Musk’s SpaceX is teaming up with NASA to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in their Crew Dragon spacecraft. The two NASA astronauts are named Doug Hurley (left) . . . Published:5/27/2020 2:49:24 PM
[Featured News] Watch Live: SpaceX Launches First Manned Mission from U.S. in More Than a Decade – 5/27/20

By R. Mitchell -

SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, May 27 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to ...

Watch Live: SpaceX Launches First Manned Mission from U.S. in More Than a Decade – 5/27/20 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:5/27/2020 2:49:24 PM
[Aerospace] Up close with the fresh new spacesuits astronauts will soon wear in orbit for the first time Inside the first American spacecraft to take humans to orbit since the Space Shuttle launching today are, well, humans. And those humans are wearing brand new spacesuits that are also making a historic debut. Ahead of today’s launch (which you can watch here), NASA and SpaceX gave a fresh look at the new suits, which […] Published:5/27/2020 1:44:06 PM
[Markets] Musk's SpaceX Set To Launch Astronauts Into Space For First Time Musk's SpaceX Set To Launch Astronauts Into Space For First Time Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 13:35

On Wednesday afternoon, NASA is preparing to send two of its astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to orbit aboard a spacecraft built by Elon Musk's SpaceX. 

Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken in spacesuits on May 23. h/t NASA

The launch will mark the first time a private US company has catapulted astronauts into space. It has also been about a decade since NASA retired its space shuttles in July 2011.

"For the first time since 2011, we are sending American astronauts back to space, on an American rocket, from American soil. And we would like you to join us for launch – at a safe virtual distance, of course," NASA said in an announcement.

NASA's live broadcast of the launch begins 12:15 p.m. EST with liftoff scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EST. It will be held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If the weather holds up, SpaceX's Crew Dragon will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). 

Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft this morning  

h/t NASA

Scheduled events for today:

  • 12 p.m. – Live Views of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket on Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center for NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch to the International Space Station.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Coverage of NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch to the International Space Station (Launch scheduled at 4:33 p.m. EDT) ].
  • 7:30 p.m. – NASA/SpaceX Demo-2 post-launch news conference with Administrator Jim Bridenstine

NASA will stream the launch event live on YouTube 

This is a big day for Musk, considering last night his electric car company, Tesla, cut prices across the entire US lineup, as it appears a demand problem is forming. 

President Donald Trump will be in attendance today to witness the launch of the first manned space mission for the US in a decade. Vice President Mike Pence will attend as well.

The president has bragged about the public/private program for space travel, by allowing "rich guys" to bankroll the missions.

"We are letting those rich guys [Elon Musk] that like rockets, go ahead, use our property, pay us some rent," Trump said at a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi, in Nov. 2018. "Go ahead. You can use Cape Canaveral. You just pay us rent and spend that money."

Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize, the first private company to launch a rocket to the edge of space, told Financial Times if Musk is successful today, it will mark a period where space flight has become 'reliable and cheap.' 

 "It's the first, fully commercially built, entrepreneurial capability," Diamandis said. "What Elon Musk has done is nothing short of extraordinary, outpacing the US government-backed industries, Russia and China."

Ahead of the launch, SpaceX raised $346 million, which was $100 million more than it originally disclosed in March. In the company's existence, it has raised $3.5 billion, according to Crunchbase data.

Greg Autry, a former White House liaison to Nasa, said the commercialization of space flight is equivalent to when the internet was first created by the US Defense Department. He called today's flight a "tipping point we've been waiting for in the commercial space industry for a number of years." 

Financial Times describes the SpaceX and Boeing competition over the last decade to drive commercialization of space. 

"Nasa, which commissioned both SpaceX and Boeing seven years ago to build human launch systems, is counting on commercial incentives and market competition to drive down the price of getting into space. It has estimated that the $400m SpaceX spent to develop its Falcon 9 rocket, which has become the workhorse for lifting cargo to the ISS, was only a tenth what it would have cost Nasa itself to build a similar rocket.

"Since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011 and the US was forced to buy seats on Russian rockets to propel its astronauts to the ISS, the cost of getting into space has risen sharply. Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, paid $20m in 2001 for a ride to the ISS on a Russian rocket. The price of a seat has now ballooned to more than $90m.

" A competitive commercial market could quickly push that price back below $50m, said Mr Autry. Boeing's rival space capsule suffered a setback earlier this year because of software glitches but is expected to make its first manned test launch next year. Other companies, including Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada, a Californian company that has built a space vehicle with wings, also hope to cash in.

"As competition increases and the process for mounting human flights becomes more streamlined, the price for a trip into orbit could fall below $10m over the next decade, Mr Autry predicted." 

A boom in commercial space travel could be ahead if Musk is able to pull off today's launch. It could signify affordable space flight is here. This could also unleash new industries such as space tourism, something that, Laura Forczyk at Astralytical, a US space consultancy, said could see exceptional growth in the 2020s. 

The next big step in commercializing space will need to be the retirement of ISS with private companies launching a new space station. That could be possible by the midpoint of the decade. 

Ahead of the launch, Musk said: "I'm Chief Engineer of the thing. If it goes right, it's credit to the SpaceX/NASA team. Goes wrong, it's my fault." 

Published:5/27/2020 12:44:48 PM
[Aerospace] Watch SpaceX launch people to space for the first time live SpaceX is set to mark a huge milestone in its own company history, with a first-ever crewed spaceflight set to take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida later today. The mission is Commercial Crew Demo-2, the culmination of its Crew Dragon human spacecraft development program, which will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken […] Published:5/27/2020 6:42:07 AM
[Aerospace] NASA and SpaceX confirm SpaceX’s first ever astronaut launch is a ‘go’ NASA and SpaceX are closer than ever to a moment both have been preparing for since the beginning of the Commercial Crew program in 2010. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon spacecraft are now set to fly with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken onboard, making a trip to the International Space Station, and […] Published:5/25/2020 5:32:22 PM
[Politics] Trump to Visit Florida for SpaceX Launch With NASA Astronauts President Donald Trump plans to travel to Florida on Wednesday to view the launch of SpaceX's manned test mission to the International Space Station, according to a U.S. official. The launch will mark the first time NASA astronauts have blasted off from U.S. soil since the... Published:5/22/2020 10:11:32 PM
[Markets] Scientists Discover Evidence Of Parallel Universe Where Time Flows Backward Scientists Discover Evidence Of Parallel Universe Where Time Flows Backward Tyler Durden Wed, 05/20/2020 - 23:25

Authored by Jake Anderson via TheMindUnleashed.com,

The existence of parallel universes sounds like science fiction, but over the years a number of prominent physicists have come to believe the idea is not only compatible with conventional physics but that it may explain some of the anomalies in quantum theory.

A new discovery in Antarctica has caused a stir in scientific circles as possibly representing the first tangible physical evidence of a parallel universe.

Scientists working for NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) have been conducting a cosmic ray detection experiment. Antarctica is the ideal environment for such an endeavor because a persistent wind of high-energy particles rains down from outer space unperturbed by radio noise.

ANITA Antarctic Hang Test/University of Hawai’i at Manoa

ANITA is a stratospheric balloon that ferries complicated instruments high into the air over Antarctica, surveying over a million square kilometers. Its instruments search for heavier tau neutrinos trapped by solid-state matter. But while these high-energy particles do not pass through the Earth, like their lighter low-energy cousins, they should be originating from out in space and moving “down” toward us.

However, ANITA scientists discovered something surprising: tau neutrino particles that seem to be arising “up” from the Earth, implying that they’re moving backward in time.

Principal ANITA investigator Peter Gorham, an experimental particle physicist at the University of Hawaii, says he was surprised by this and checked for computational or equipment glitches to explain the finding.

“What we saw is something that looked just like a cosmic ray, as seen in reflection off the ice sheet, but it wasn’t reflected,” said Gorham.

 “It was as if the cosmic ray had come out of the ice itself. A very strange thing. So we published a paper on that, we just suggested that this was in pretty strong tension with the standard model of physics.”

Gorham says these “impossible events” are controversial but “could indicate that we’re actually seeing a new class of sub-atomic particle that’s very penetrating. Even more penetrating than a neutrino, which is pretty hard to do. This particle would be passing through almost the entire earth. So this could be an indication of some new type of physics, what we call beyond the standard model of physics.”

Surprisingly enough, one of the simplest explanations for such a finding is that when the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago, it formed both our universe and a mirror universe where time flows in reverse. Inhabitants of that universe would likely not experience time going backward but would rather perceive us as the reverse universe.

“Not everyone was comfortable with the hypothesis,” Gorham told New Scientist.

Another possibility is that the Earth was inundated from cosmic rays from a supernova blast that penetrated our planet.

Scientists have increasingly come to accept the possibility of multiple universes. A few years ago astronomers considered evidence of a “bruise” on our universe, an anomalous “cold spot” that could represent an ancient collision with another universe in the multiverse.

Stephen Hawking’s final paper, released posthumously, proposed a theory for explaining alternate universes.

Published:5/20/2020 10:28:04 PM
[] Why did NASA's head of human spaceflight suddenly resign? Published:5/20/2020 7:25:50 AM
[Aerospace] NASA’s Chief of Human Spaceflight Doug Loverro resigns days before historic crewed mission Doug Loverro, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, has abruptly and unexpectedly resigned from his post, just days before a historic launch. Commercial Crew Demo-2 will take astronauts to the ISS aboard an American spacecraft for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired, and Loverro was deeply involved. The reasons for […] Published:5/19/2020 6:21:30 PM
[Markets] The Sun "Has Gone Into Lockdown", And This Strange Behavior Could Worsen Global Food Shortages The Sun "Has Gone Into Lockdown", And This Strange Behavior Could Worsen Global Food Shortages Tyler Durden Mon, 05/18/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

At a time when the world is already being hit with major crisis after major crisis, our sun is behaving in ways that we have never seen before.  For as long as records have been kept, the sun has never been quieter than it has been in 2019 and 2020, and as you will see below we are being warned that we have now entered “a very deep solar minimum”.  Unfortunately, other very deep solar minimums throughout history have corresponded with brutally cold temperatures and horrific global famines, and of course this new solar minimum comes at a time when the United Nations is already warning that we are on the verge of “biblical” famines around the worldSo we better hope that the sun wakes up soon, because the alternative is almost too horrifying to talk about.

Without the sun, life on Earth could not exist, and so the fact that it is behaving so weirdly right now should be big news.

Sadly, most mainstream news outlets are largely ignoring this story, but at least a few are covering it.  The following comes from Forbes

While we on Earth suffer from coronavirus, our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its ownSpaceweather.com reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots.

That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots— which you can see (a complete absence of) here.

And here is what the New York Post is saying…

Our sun has gone into lockdown, which could cause freezing weather, earthquakes and famine, scientists say.

The sun is currently in a period of “solar minimum,” meaning activity on its surface has fallen dramatically.

Experts believe we are about to enter the deepest period of sunshine “recession” ever recorded as sunspots have virtually disappeared.

Yes, covering COVID-19 is important, but the fact that scientists are warning that we are potentially facing “freezing weather, earthquakes and famine” should be deeply alarming for all of us.

And since the mainstream media has been largely silent on this crisis, most Americans don’t even know that it exists.

Last year, there were no sunspots at all 77 percent of the time, and so far this year there have been no sunspots at all 76 percent of the time

“This is a sign that solar minimum is underway,” reads SpaceWeather.com. “So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76% of the time, a rate surpassed only once before in the Space Age. Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77% of the time. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum, indeed.”

So why is this such a big deal?

Well, every once in a while a very deep solar minimum that lasts for several decades comes along, and when our planet has experienced such periods in the past the consequences have been quite dramatic.

For example, the New York Post is claiming that NASA scientists fear that we could potentially be facing “a repeat of the Dalton Minimum”…

NASA scientists fear it could be a repeat of the Dalton Minimum, which happened between 1790 and 1830 — leading to periods of brutal cold, crop loss, famine and powerful volcanic eruptions.

Temperatures plummeted by up to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over 20 years, devastating the world’s food production.

Even worse would be a repeat of the Maunder Minimum which stretched from 1645 to 1715.  It came as the globe was already in the midst of “the Little Ice Age”, and it caused harvest failures and famines all over the globe

The Maunder Minimum is the most famous cold period of the Little Ice Age. Temperatures plummeted in Europe (Figs. 14.3–14.7), the growing season became shorter by more than a month, the number of snowy days increased from a few to 20–30, the ground froze to several feet, alpine glaciers advanced all over the world, glaciers in the Swiss Alps encroached on farms and buried villages, tree-lines in the Alps dropped, sea ports were blocked by sea ice that surrounded Iceland and Holland for about 20 miles, wine grape harvests diminished, and cereal grain harvests failed, leading to mass famines (Fagan, 2007). The Thames River and canals and rivers of the Netherlands froze over during the winter (Fig. 14.3). The population of Iceland decreased by about half. In parts of China, warm-weather crops that had been grown for centuries were abandoned. In North America, early European settlers experienced exceptionally severe winters.

Of course this would be an exceptionally bad time for such a cataclysmic climate shift, because African Swine Fever has already wiped out approximately one-fourth of all the pigs in the world, colossal armies of locusts the size of major cities are systematically wiping out crops across much of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and fear of COVID-19 is greatly disrupting global food supply chains.

In fact, it is being reported that widespread shutdowns of meat processing facilities in the United States may force farmers to euthanize “as many as 10 million hogs by September”

U.S. pork farmers may be forced to euthanize as many as 10 million hogs by September as a result of production-plant shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

At least 14,000 reported positive COVID-19 cases have been connected to meatpacking facilities in at least 181 plants in 31 states as of May 13, and at least 54 meatpacking facility workers have died of the virus at 30 plants in 18 states, according to an investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative reporting.

Even if the sun suddenly started acting perfectly normal once again, we would still be facing what the UN is calling “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”.

Global food supplies are getting tighter with each passing day, and many are warning that some areas of the globe will soon be dealing with severe food shortages.

What we really need are a few years of really good growing weather, but the behavior of the sun may not make that possible.

So let’s keep a very close eye on the giant ball of fire that we are revolving around, because if it remains very quiet that could mean big trouble for all of us.

Published:5/18/2020 7:12:54 PM
[Entertainment] The new documentary ‘Spacedrop’ takes viewers inside a simulated space quarantine “The first Asian Jew in fake space” — that’s how Josh Burstein introduced himself to me when we hopped on the phone earlier this week. The fake space in question is the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), where NASA has been periodically isolating teams of astronauts to study how they respond to the […] Published:5/14/2020 5:14:20 PM
[Aerospace] Here’s what SpaceX and NASA’s crucial Crew Dragon mission should look like on May 27 SpaceX and NASA are planning a triumphant return to American human spaceflight on May 27, with the SpaceX Demo-2 mission for its Crew Dragon spacecraft. This is the final step required for Crew Dragon to become certified for human flight, after which it’ll enter into regular operational service ferrying people (and some cargo) to the […] Published:5/14/2020 1:46:56 PM
[Markets] China Slams US As "Perpetrator Of Largest Cyber-Theft Worldwide" As FBI Issues 'High Alert' For Virus Data Hacks China Slams US As "Perpetrator Of Largest Cyber-Theft Worldwide" As FBI Issues 'High Alert' For Virus Data Hacks Tyler Durden Thu, 05/14/2020 - 11:00

US federal agencies say they are on high alert for cyberattacks out of China targeting health research and pharmaceutical companies in efforts to steal coveted and valuable coronavirus data and possible breakthrough solutions to the pandemic, such as vaccines and experimental treatments.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI further have issued a "public service announcement" of what they called a "significant threat", saying health research sectors "working on a COVID-19 response should all be aware they are the prime targets of this activity and take the necessary steps to protect their systems."

While over the past month some international health bodies as well as US agencies have singled out Iran as a main perpetrator of COVID-19 related data theft and hacks, US officials threw the spotlight on Beijing this week.

Simon Saw-Teong Ang

“China’s long history of bad behavior in cyberspace is well documented, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone they are going after the critical organizations involved in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told The New York Times earlier this week.

Per Axios:

The FBI and CISA recommended that research institutions "patch all systems for critical vulnerabilities, prioritizing timely patching for known vulnerabilities of internet-connected servers and software processing internet data."

  • The agencies pressed institutions to scan for unauthorized access, modification or anomalous activities and to improve internal credential requirements to gain access to research.
  • They also cautioned that increased media attention about virus research done by a specific organization will lead to increased "cyber activity."

Chinese state actors already have a long recent history of intellectual property theft, which was one of the driving elements behind growing Trump administration criticisms which led to the trade war. And on that front, as we reported Tuesday amid the coronavirus data theft warnings, it appears the feds may have reeled in their first big fish:

The government on Monday unsealed a wire fraud charge against a University of Arkansas professor and NASA researcher with ties to the Chinese government. Simon Saw-Teong Ang allegedly failed to disclose ties with the Chinese government and Chinese companies while also being employed as a professor at the University of Arkansas and accepting NASA research grant money.

Specifically the court documents allege that "Ang had close ties with the Chinese government and Chinese companies, and failed to disclose those ties when required to do so in order to receive grant money from NASA."

The court documents further say Ang simultaneously held positions in China while also being under official employment at the University of Arkansas. The FBI was reportedly tipped off after his name was mentioned in a Chinese news article highlighting his achievements as part of a program called Thousand Talent Program scholars.

This comes after a series of similar cases uncovered and investigated by the FBI of Chinese nationals with ongoing ties to state-linked entities in the communist country being found in high positions at US research universities and labs, such as a recent example at Emory University. 

To be expected, Chinese officials and state media hit back Thursday, turning it back on Washington, charging that it's actually the US which "has a history of perpetrating the largest cyber-theft worldwide" and adding it's China that should be worried about its own COVID-19 research.

“We are leading the world in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine research,” China's Foreign Ministry said at the start of the week. “It is immoral to target China with rumors and slanders in the absence of any evidence.”

But with US-China relations arguably at their lowest point in history, more such instances are likely to be spotlighted and investigated. 

Ang himself knew full well the illegality of concealing his ties while receiving NASA funding, and essentially confessed his concealment his continuing links to China in private communications. Emails revealed as part of the court case show he previously wrote to a colleague in China: "Not many people here know I am [a Thousand talents program scholar] but if this leaks out, my job here will be in deep troubles," according to ABC. "I have to be very careful or else I may be out of my job from this university."

Published:5/14/2020 10:12:11 AM
[Opinion] Chinese Spies In Our Universities

By Jim Clayton -

A professor from the University of Arkansas has been arrested on wire fraud charges over his alleged ties to the Chinese regime. According to court documents, the Fayetteville campus professor, 63-year-old Simon Saw-Teong Ang, allegedly received grant money from NASA, but failed to disclose his ties to the Chinese regime and Chinese companies ...

Chinese Spies In Our Universities is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:5/13/2020 9:06:42 AM
[Markets] SpaceX: Camel's Nose Under The Tent Of Rapid Space Militarization SpaceX: Camel's Nose Under The Tent Of Rapid Space Militarization

Via Southfront.org,

In the last several decades, and certainly in the post-9/11 environment in which the previous restrictions on the militarization of the American society largely disappeared, the US national security establishment has expand not only by creating new programs and agencies, but also by co-opting non-state actors. Many a US think-tank is now little more than an extension of some US government agency, conducting research to validate previously arrived-at conclusions in furtherance of a specific institutional agenda. Likewise many corporations have gone beyond being mere defense or intelligence contractors. Rather, their business activities are from the outset designed to be readily weaponizable, meshing seamlessly with the armed services and intelligence agencies.

It is not entirely clear how the process works, for there does not appear to be a system of contract awards for specific deliverables. Rather, it seems these capabilities are developed on the initiative of specific businesses which speculate their efforts will be utilized by the US national security establishment ever on the lookout for technological “game-changers”. Moreover, given the unchecked growth of the US national security budget, these entrepreneurs can operate in high confidence their efforts will also be financially rewarded by the intelligence and defense establishments, even if they are not commercially viable.

Falcon 9 launch in November 2019, which carried 60 Starlink satellites, via SpaceX.

There have been numerous examples of initially civilian applications being put to use for the benefit of US national security institutions. Facebook has made its databases available to various agencies to test facial recognition technologies, for example. Google and Amazon make their cloud capabilities available to the Pentagon and the intelligence communities. The opposition to China’s Huawei 5G networks and cell phones appears to be motivated by the concern these systems do not have backdoors installed for the benefit of US national security state.

Elon Musk’s business empire has benefited from its proximity to the US national security state. Musk, an immigrant from the Republic of South Africa, has made his initial fortune by creating PayPal. While Musk has sold his remaining interest in PayPal in 2002, that entity has since then engaged in furthering US national security agendas by blocking payments to organizations which were critical of US policies. This, however, is probably more of a reflection of the subservience of US tech firms to the US government than of Musk’s original intent.

Nevertheless, the timing of Musk’s departure from PayPal and the entry into the space business is noteworthy. Already in the late 1990s, there were rumblings in the United States about the desirability of militarizing space and building up anti-ballistic missile defenses, ostensibly against the so-called “rogue states” of North Korea and Iran. These initiatives gained considerable impetus in 2001, following the election of the Bush-Cheney administration which promptly moved to end the ABM Treaty as the first step toward the future of weaponization of space.

Space-X’s establishment in 2002, the same year the ABM Treaty collapsed due to the Bush Administration abrogation, seems entirely too convenient to be a mere coincidence, even though the stated aims of the company are mainly commercial. Still, it is easy to imagine why a firm focused on the development of low-cost, possibly reusable, space launch vehicles would be useful to the Pentagon. Creating a government program with the same objective would have attracted unnecessary attention. There would be budget appropriations battles, congressional testimony, various forms of oversight, and the inevitable domestic and international opposition to such destabilizing and provocative initiatives.

Providing Space-X with technological assistance, allowing it to hire government specialists, then giving it access to lucrative government space launch orders, is a far more attractive proposition. Moreover, the bypassing of the normal defense contracting system actually meant considerable cost savings, thanks to Musk’s red tape-cutting techniques. It's design bureau functioned in a fashion akin to Lockheed’s famous “skunk works” which developed extremely ambitious projects such as the U-2 and SR-71 in large part thanks to being able to fly “under the radar” (no pun intended). However, since that time Lockheed ballooned into a massive “too big to fail” defense contractor which delivers costly and poorly performing aircraft.

Musk’s fantasies about colonizing Mars and selling seats on orbital space flights proved a very effective cover for the corporation’s core military applications. Moreover, Space-X’s status as a private corporation allows it to defray some of the research and development costs through genuine commercial activities. Yet one has to wonder whether SpaceX success would have been as spectacular if it weren’t for privileged access to government facilities. SpaceX has been able to piggy-back on the massive US government investment in space launch facilities. It is able to operate out of not only Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, but even from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. The speed with which SpaceX was able to develop, test, and deploy several different new rocket engine design of the Kestrel, Merlin, Raptor, and Draco families also may be due to privileged access to technologies developed for NASA and military space programs.

Even though SpaceX was founded in 2002, it won a $100 million USAF space launch contract in 2005 and the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract in 2006, even though the first orbital mission of the Falcon I rocket would not take place until 2008. USAF awarded another $1 billion contract to SpaceX in early 2008, even before the first Falcon I flight. SpaceX has become the de-facto research and development branch of NASA when it comes to manned spaceflight. The 2014 NASA contract for the Crew Dragon has so far resulted in one successful docking with the International Space Station, though without a crew on board, and was followed by a successful splashdown. The larger Starship reusable heavy manned spacecraft is expected to start flying in the 2020s.

Competition from United Launch Services and even Boeing notwithstanding, there is little doubt SpaceX is to US manned spaceflight what Boeing is to heavy commercial aircraft and Lockheed-Martin to “fifth-generation” fighters. It has become the primary go-to contractor of such systems for both commercial and military US government applications, with the competitors being maintained in existence with occasional contracts largely as insurance against spectacular failure of SpaceX.

SpaceX portfolio of reusable space launch vehicles, manned spacecraft, and most recently also satellites means that the company is well positioned to serve as a one-stop shopping center for the newly created branch of the US armed forces. Given the United States’ desire to weaponize space as part of its effort to undermine strategic nuclear deterrence of rival powers, namely the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, there is every reason to expect SpaceX will be a recipient of considerable financial largesse from the USSF.

Arguably the most intriguing project SpaceX is pursuing is Starlink, a proposed network of over four thousand miniature satellites whose ostensible aim is to provide broadband internet service to the entire planet. However, the interest in Starlink demonstrated by the US military suggests that, once again, this is at the very least a dual-use project. Articles discussing the military’s interest in Starlink cite the possibility of it becoming the replacement for the aging J-STARS airborne ground target acquisition radars, suggesting these satellites’ emissions can be used to track moving land objects.. If that is indeed the case, they could also serve the role of anti-ballistic missile warning satellites, and even be used to track stealth aircraft, since the constellation of satellites would function as a massive distributed multi-static radar array.

The mad pace of SpaceX has not been without mishaps. The Crew Dragon, in particular, suffered a number of embarrassing failures, and it may yet be that the corner-cutting hell-for-leather approach the corporation may yet lead to disaster when applied to the considerably more demanding problem of manned spaceflight. Other private entrepreneurs, such as Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, either suffered fatal accidents that greatly delayed their respective programs or prompted their shut-down. G_7 SpaceX, however, differs from them in that its main customer is the US government that is greatly interested in having the USSF dominate the Earth’s orbit in the same way as the USN dominates the global ocean by establishing large-scale permanent presence of US military personnel in space. The US government has gambled SpaceX will deliver products necessary for such domination. Whether it can do that still remains to be seen.

Tyler Durden Sat, 05/02/2020 - 19:40
Published:5/2/2020 6:53:38 PM
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