News Release

Bush’s Space Program: A Future Armada?

President Bush is expected to make a statement Wednesday regarding U.S. government plans for space. The following analysts are available for interviews:

BRUCE GAGNON
Director of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and author of the recent article “Bush Plays with Fire: Launching a Dangerous Space Policy,” Gagnon said today: “The U.S. never signed the 1979 Moon Treaty that was created at the United Nations to prevent a rush of land claims and military bases on the moon…. Scientists have discovered valuable resources on the moon including helium 3, a fuel that is seen as a replacement for the dwindling supply of fossil fuels back here on Earth…. Within hours after Chinese taikonaut Yang Liwei ventured into space in 2003 … Lt. Gen. Edward Anderson, deputy Commander of U.S. Northern Command, said that ‘In my view it will not be long before space becomes a battleground.’ Just as the Spanish Armada and British Navy were created to protect the interests and investments in the ‘new world,’ space is viewed today as open territory to be seized for eventual corporate profit.”
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ALICE SLATER
Director of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, Slater said today: “The plan to establish a ‘beachhead’ on the moon, taking the ‘high ground’ from which to dominate and control the military use of space, is clearly articulated in the documents of the U.S. Space Command. It will create a new arms race to the heavens. Russia and China, which have been thwarted by the U.S. during the past several years in their annual call at the United Nations for negotiations on a treaty to prevent the militarization of space, will not stand idly by….”
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KARL GROSSMAN
Professor at the State University of New York, Grossman is author of the book The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. He said today: “Accidents have happened in the U.S. space nuclear program — including the 1964 disintegration of a plutonium-powered satellite spreading lethal plutonium widely on Earth. NASA’s Project Prometheus will use nuclear-propelled rockets. More atomic-powered space devices will place us at great risk. Consider if Columbia had been nuclear-powered: there would be radioactive debris spread over Texas and Louisiana. Billions were wasted on nuclear-propelled rocket projects in the 1950s and ’60s before they were cancelled because of the still-present danger of an atomic rocket crashing back to Earth…. Moreover, there have been great advances in safely powering and propelling spacecraft. Solar-electric propulsion and solar sails are now safely propelling spacecraft.”
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MICHELLE CIARROCCA
Ciarrocca is senior research associate at the World Policy Institute and co-author of the report “Axis Of Influence: Behind the Bush Administration’s Missile Defense Revival.” She said today: “The Bush administration’s push to establish a permanent U.S. presence on the moon could be a first step in carrying out the goals outlined by Rumsfeld’s Space Commission…. No fewer than eight Pentagon contractors were represented on the space commission, marking a serious and direct conflict of interest.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167