Headed for defeat in elections following the Sponsorship Scandal and launching attack ads to prove it, Canada’s Labour Party “would seek an international deal to permanently ban weapons in space” if re-elected. Presumably, this would include “directed-energy weapons” which “may well signal a revolution in military hardware—perhaps more so than the atomic bomb.”
Friends point out to me that space exploration has always been about military advantage. John F. Kennedy called for landing a man on the moon in response to a perceived Soviet advantage in space exploration. And it is thus no surprise that President Bush has sought to return men to the moon, and send them on to Mars, as China progresses in its own space program.
But for me, it is profoundly troubling that the “final frontier” must be the final battleground in earthbound rivalries. We have already screwed up our own planet. Is it really so essential that we do the same on other worlds?