Archive for the 'Wave Guide 10: Pop Culture' Category

Dec 29 2013

Did ESA’s Mars Express Broadcast the Carpenters’ “Close to You” This AM to Phobos?

Well if they didn’t, they should have!

Now we know what the Carpenters really meant when they sang their mega-hit, “Close to You”…

Lyrics from “Close to You” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David; recorded by the Carpenters, 1970…

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Only a short time ago (11:09 pm, 12/28/13 California time) the Mars Express spacecraft made the closest approach ever to Phobos — only 28 miles (45 km) above its fascinating surface!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ESA and the Mars Express team!!

It’s too fast and close to take images but the trajectory data — currently being received by the 70 m NASA tracking station in Madrid — will be used to better constrain the structure of Phobos’ very porous interior!

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust …

Phobos is truly a “dream come true” especially every 2 years when a launch window opens that makes Phobos (and Deimos) more accessible energy-wise than a trip to the lunar surface!

For those of us who crave the human exploration of Mars, Phobos is indeed the key to the cosmos!

Just so you know what Mars Express must have been feeling this morning, here’s an encore performance of “Close To You”; CLICK Here.

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Dec 24 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Yesterday from Chicago Apollo 8 astronaut James Lovell reenacted his famous 1968 Christmas Eve television broadcast from orbit around the Moon during which the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis.

Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to leave Earth orbit, travel to the Moon and orbit it, and return safely to Earth.

Captain Lovell is an extraordinary space traveler: He is the first of only 3 people to fly to the Moon twice (although he did not make a landing), and is famous as commander of the Apollo 13 mission.

For the full text of their broadcast, Click: Celebrating Christmas at the Moon!

Lovell closed yesterday with the same message the astronauts did in 1968.

From the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.

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Jul 21 2013

Does “Man of Steel” Support the Rare Earth Hypothesis?

I happened to catch Man of Steel recently and it is definitely one of the best fantasy movies ever made. But, special effects aside, this Superman has one key difference with George Reeves, an earlier MOS who flew into living rooms across America as the first space age was gaining steam.

There was once another Man of Steel who, on small screens in the 1950s, used his superpowers to defend “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

The difference is George Reeves never had to contend with General Zod, a super-villain from Superman’s original neck of the woods, Krypton. Although Gen. Zod first appeared on the screen in Superman (1978) and also in Superman II (1980), he really started to get nasty in this movie.

His casual, but deadly approach to stamping out humanity started me wondering if there could be any REAL Gen. Zods out there.

As I’ve documented previously, widespread interest in extraterrestrials — even evil fictional ones — tends to spike as we approach a Maslow Window. The canal-building Martians of Lowell a century ago were part of this trend, as were George Reeves (Adventures of Superman) and the SETI program of Frank Drake in the 1950s and 60s, as are now the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets, scientific meetings contemplating ET visits, and cinema like Man of Steel.

But it isn’t just Gen. Zod. For example, Putnam Books is spending big money to exploit the current “renaissance” in popular science fiction (Wall Street Journal, 5/10/13), with Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave, characterized as an “alien blockbuster invasion.”

Yancey’s aliens would have warmed General Zod’s heart (if he had one); he envisions eradicating humanity in 5 stages “to preserve the planet’s resources.” First is an EMP-style attack that would fry our electronic and communications infrastructure, then trigger large earthquakes that would kill billions, and third release a lethal virus carried by birds (an idea toyed with earlier in a fun 1965 SciFi film with George Maharis, The Satan Bug)… Anyway, you get the idea!

Very popular super-villain entertainment like Man of Steel and The 5th Wave highlight three obvious issues relating to potentially real extraterrestrials:

A major theme of the movie was the extraordinary technology that Gen. Zod and his pals had relative to humans. In one violent encounter, Gen. Zod’s aliens simply flew to an attacking jet, pulled open the cockpit and dragged the pilot out to his death. (Most of us were sitting there eating popcorn thinking it doesn’t matter because Superman will soon take them out … but let’s forget about the “it’s not an S”-guy for a minute.)

In the context of the real Galaxy, it’s a wild sensation to imagine such a demonstration of vulnerability in state-of-the-art human military forces. How should we, as people hoping for a long positive Galactic future, react to such a prospect? This is an important question that is already being openly addressed in the scientific literature.

Near the end of the movie, as they were drumming up interest in MOS sequels, a human general (who obviously had thought about Point 1) asked Superman an important question: How can we know that you (Superman) will always be on the side of humanity?

Let’s get real for a second. While everybody would like to weekend on Alpha Centauri, isn’t it more likely that even well-meaning, “Good” ETs would have a net negative effect on humanity? Contact with highly advanced ETs would involuntarily transform our culture — a complex system subject to the Butterfly Effect — in unintended ways. In the original Star Trek TV series, this gave birth to the Prime Directive.

Imagine a real Zod-style civilization of advanced aliens who casually view humans as a group that should be wiped out — as long as Earth’s resources are preserved! Think how they behaved in Man of Steel. Of course that was only a movie so it was fun, but let’s imagine now that it’s real.

They could easily find us using their galactic network of self-replicating Von Neumann probes (or something even more exciting), and would have no problem terraforming Earth, as they started to in the film. There would be no compunctions like The Prime Directive, only a focus on achieving their alien goals.

If they existed, wouldn’t they already be here by now and wouldn’t we be under attack? If worlds very similar to Earth are rare in our Galaxy — part of the popular Rare Earth Hypothesis which says that high intelligence is very rare in our Galaxy — this doesn’t help our survival chances very much, because, although there will be fewer space aliens out there — it only takes ONE group to come here. And because they’re evil (and Earths are rare), they would come here as we’ve seen above.

This type of Fermi Paradox argument can be used to assert that NASTY space aliens like General Zod do not exist. If they did, they would already be here. And, as in Man of Steel, we would know it.

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Jul 10 2013

Impressions and Implications of the 2013 Roswell UFO Festival

Yesterday Google cutely reminded us of the 66th anniversary of the Roswell UFO event. In the past, although intrigued, I’ve not attended the annual July Roswell UFO festival mainly because Roswell is far away and has very warm summers.

Each year for a few days around July 4, Roswell celebrates and evaluates the most famous UFO event in history. (Images by Bruce Cordell.)

But given the recently high profile of the UFO phenomenon — Citizen Hearing, scientific meetings at the Vatican and the Royal Society — and key people speaking at Roswell (e.g., Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr.), I decided to take the plunge.

This time Roswell not only had elevated temperatures but also an unusually early and intense monsoon. Both may have conspired to bring the crowd down a little although everyone seemed to enjoying themselves.

In Roswell UFO-related gift shops and bookstores abound. My favorite was “Roswell Landing” where I found a speculative, but interesting book by mathematician and MUFON staffer Don Burleson, about how J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the A-bomb, may have been directly involved in UFO crash analyses.

My impression of the Roswell demographics was an interesting combination of the younger family-oriented groups you’d encounter at Disneyland plus the more senior folks who frequent WalMart. If you survey the festival’s schedule of events (linked above) you’ll see there was something for everyone from eight to eighty.

A lot of the action took place in the International UFO Museum and Research Center on Main Street. I remember strolling though it shortly after it was founded in 1992. This time it was much more elaborate including an autographed poster of wondrous actress Adrienne Barbeau who was a celebrity guest in 2010.

Friday afternoon in the IUFOMRC North Library well-known Roswell authors Tom Carey and Don Schmitt reiterated their contention that over the last 60+ years the U.S. government has fibbed often about UFOs and especially Roswell.

In particular, since 1947 the government has offered 4 different, official explanations of the Roswell event — the most laughable being a weather balloon! Carey and Schmitt continue to be firmly supportive of the idea that alien bodies were also retrieved at Roswell and expressed particular frustration with the New York Times for showing no interest in witness testimony. Big surprise.

Not being a Roswell expert myself, I’ve always been curious of what became of Roswell base commander Col. Blanchard who sent out the stunning first, but rapidly countermanded press release that indicated the military had retrieved a crashed flying saucer!

Did it hurt his career?

According to Carey/Schmitt, Blanchard shot up the ladder to the Pentagon and became a 4-star general. Shortly thereafter in May, 1966 Gen. Blanchard died “at his desk” of a massive heart attack, while expecting even brighter things in his sadly aborted future. Imagine what the conspiracy theorists of today’s politicized world would make out of that…

The highlight of the UFO Festival for me was Saturday morning at 9:30 am in the Roswell Civic Center Exhibit Hall when Jesse Marcel, Jr., M.D. recounted his story of how, as an eleven-year-old in 1947, he personally examined the debris from the Roswell UFO crash. Dr. Marcel and his daughter are pictured here.

Marcel comes across exactly like I expected him to: smart, authentic, competent, patriotic, and even very personable. It was quite an experience to hear the most celebrated (publicly speaking) living witness to what was apparently the debris of a crashed alien spacecraft. The fact that Marcel later earned an M.D. and became a successful practicing physician is relevant to his current testimony about events in 1947 because it indicates he has an excellent eye and memory for details.

Marcel likes to talk about the strange “mathematics-like” symbols on the I-beams, but I find the extraordinary properties of the “foil”-like materials more compelling. The symbols could have been faked by someone trying to simulate a crash site, but I doubt, even today, if the properties of the materials (as described by Dr. Marcel and his father, intelligence officer of the base) could be duplicated.

Dr. Marcel has no doubt personally that the Roswell debris was from a crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft. Listening to him I began to feel the same way, although I still have serious doubts that are not related to Dr. Marcel. They’re based on new discoveries in astrophysics which suggest that human-level civilizations and Earth-like planets are so complex and unlikely that even in a Galaxy of 300 billion stars we could be the only custodians of high intelligence.

While smart aliens still might exist elsewhere they would need exotic transportation concepts (e.g., wormholes) to come here from other galaxies or even other universes, and would be way, way too sophisticated for clumsy Roswell-style crashes in thunderstorms.

The question is: Can we reconcile new insights about the low probability of Earth-style civilizations based on current astrophysics with Dr. Marcel’s and others’ observations of apparent extraterrestrial technologies and capabilities?

Here are two options (others are possible):
Option I. Dr. Marcel is right!
Roswell is due to an ET spacecraft. This implies that astrophysical cautions about high intelligence in our Galaxy are overestimated and high-tech civilizations exist elsewhere in the Milky Way. It also indicates that extremely advanced civilizations from other galaxies or universes also probably exist and we can expect visits from them, if they aren’t already here.

Option II. Dr. Marcel is wrong.
Roswell debris is not extraterrestrial and thus is probably due to a secret military project. If other suspected UFO crash sites are likewise not ET spacecraft it’s likely that, based on astrophysical insights, we are alone in the Galaxy. Other ultra-advanced extragalactic or extra-universal civilizations may exist and already be here, but would have little in common with us because they are tens- or hundreds- (or more) of thousands of years ahead of us.

Based on non-secret information, my evaluation of the situation is that both options are still potentially viable. And we need more data to resolve them. (Notice that in either case, we expect extremely advanced civilizations to be here, but they would not be expected to contact us directly.)

A dual track of activities like the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure as well as astrophysical studies that illuminate the origin and development of high intelligence (e.g., extrasolar planets) will eventually reveal these cosmic mysteries to everyone.

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Jun 26 2013

Award-Winning British Astrophysicist Throws Cold Water on Smart Aliens

Dr. Paul Murdin of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, recently published his provocative book, Are We Being Watched (2013). Murdin added the subtitle, “The Search for Life in the Cosmos,” not so much to distinguish it from recent NSA controversies (j/k), but to focus on an issue of great cosmic importance: Are there actually intelligent space aliens out there?

Despite the fact that our Galaxy has hundreds of billions of stars and planets almost everywhere, it isn’t obvious we have company, according to Murdin, who previously identified the first stellar black hole (Cygnus X-1) in our Galaxy.

Murdin, a high-energy astrophysicist who received the 2012 Royal Astronomical Society Award and in 1988 was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire), reports doing a one-eighty during the writing of his book and now takes a doubtful view of space aliens, especially those with big brains.

Murdin’s book is interesting in a variety of ways, including that it is strongly consistent with two key trends. The first, a megatrend, is that interest in space aliens (as indicated by science, the media, etc.) increases rapidly as we approach a Maslow Window; Click:Citizen Hearing on Disclosure Supports Maslow Forecasts.”

The second trend is a growing science-based view — based on new science about the Earth, Solar System, and our Galaxy — that we may indeed be alone in our Galaxy; Click: “Is Earth Unique? What this “Benchmark Moment” Means for ETs and our Future

Murdin rightly disposes of the Drake Equation, which astronomers have tried to use for ~50 years to estimate the number (N) of high-tech civilizations in our Galaxy, by quoting ASU physicist Paul Davies who, at a 2011 conference in London, described N as “utterly moot,” and concludes that:

It is an unsatisfactory position to be in after fifty years of hard work…

It’s interesting that Murdin chooses to not mention the the well-known ideas of Richard Gott (the Copernican Argument) or Andrew Watson (anthropic model for development of intelligence) to illuminate N. They support Murdin’s bottomline that N is most likely very small.

I was surprised that Murdin included a description of the Roswell UFO story in a book primarily about astrobiology, and then surprised again when he casually dismissed it (“inconsistencies,” “hoaxes”). Actually some of the compelling testimony associated with Roswell and the strange history of government cover-ups (even self-admitted!) to the present day, make Roswell of continuing interest — although not necessarily in the context of ETs.

The reason is that Murdin’s and others’ science-based belief in small N argues against accidental crashes by clumsy space aliens. Click:New Science and Prospects for Visits By Extraterrestrials.”

Murdin saves his best stuff for the last chapter when he admits that,

I changed my mind as I wrote this book … I began … thinking on general grounds that it was impossible for us to be the only intelligent life in the Cosmos. I was rather surprised to find … that it is conceivable that intelligent life on Earth is, to all intents and purposes, unique.

In the stimulating spirit of the approaching 1960s-style Maslow Window and especially of the Rare Earth Hypothesis, he leaves the door open slightly but continues to point to very low N:

If there is complex life elsewhere , it would seem that it is very rare, quite likely not as advanced as humans (possibly hardly advanced at all), and probably a very long way away indeed.

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May 05 2013

Citizen Hearing on Disclosure Supports Maslow Forecasts

This week’s Congressional-style inquiry into the reality of ET contact with humans was very significant, both in terms of its content and what it reveals about our societal trajectory.

Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr. — who allegedly examined the Roswell crash debris in 1947 — testified last week at the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Running from April 29 to May 3 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the “Citizen Hearing on Disclosure” — while not perfect — hit a genuine homerun.

Before I get to the details, here’s the context:

A variety of long-term and current indicators — including macroeconomic (financial Panic of 2008), geopolitical (the Iran-North Korea crisis), technology (the Mach 25 X-37B space plane), and others — suggest strongly that we are rapidly approaching a 1960s-style “critical state,” apparently due to self-organization over decades of the international economic system.

Such twice-per-century “critical states” can be traced back to Lewis and Clark and always dramatically change the world. Although typically preceded by financial panics and geopolitical stress, critical states are best seen through Maslow Windows that are triggered by major JFK-style economic booms and driven briefly by the societal euphoria (“ebullience”) that always follows.

The most recent Maslow Window was in the 1960s and featured an extraordinarily diverse agenda typical of critical states including the Cuban missile crisis, Apollo Moon program, and Peace Corps. A similar transformative, albeit bumpy road is expected with the arrival of the next critical state/Maslow Window — by mid-decade.

Over the last 100+ years, public fascination with intelligent life in space has surged as we approached each new Maslow Window; Click: State of the Wave: ETs Surge to Center Stage
And recent interest in UFOs, extra-solar planet discoveries, and now the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure indicate this pattern is continuing.

The CHD featured an unprecedented gathering of 40 of the world’s most significant UFO researchers and witnesses.

My favorite was the Tuesday afternoon panel on tampering with nuclear ICBM launch sites in the U.S.. Four former USAF personnel (including three officers) violated their security oaths (one, Capt. Schindale, for the first time) by describing multiple examples of UFOs hovering around Minuteman launch sites, including instances where ICBMs were mysteriously disabled by the UFO. The men and their stories continue to be believable and the national security implications are obvious and stunning.

The Wednesday afternoon panel on the UFO crash at Roswell in 1947 was good too; it featured the usual riveting suspects — Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt, and Stan Friedman. It’s always impressive to hear Dr. Marcel describe his first-person view, as an 11-year old, of the Roswell debris that his father brought home directly from the crash site.

During the week, several participants were invited to speculate on rationales for the multi-decade UFO cover-up by the U.S. government. The suggestions ranged from military technology to new game-changing energy sources.

However, on the Friday “Truth Embargo” session, historian-researcher Richard Dolan recounted two stories of the very disturbed emotional states that former President Jimmy Carter and (later) a high-level Reagan official appeared to be in after receiving key classified information regarding the nature of UFOs. Dolan speculated that a fear-factor may also be involved in the cover-up.

The CHD organizers hope that increased exposure of the facts about UFOs to the media and the public will trigger a true Congressional investigation into what the government and all its retired members actually know about UFOs.

And it’s likely the CHD will be a key step in that direction as we begin to become engulfed by the 1960s Camelot-style ebullience of the approaching Maslow Window.

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Mar 27 2013

Dennis Tito and the Essence of “Ebullience”

Dennis Tito wants to send humans to Mars, and he wants to do it before 2020, not in the misty, fuzzy future after 2030! Tito and other ebullient leaders point to a rapidly approaching 1960s-style “critical state” where unprecedented space adventures are just around the corner.

Tito is a world-class example of what we call “early ebullience.” And NASA agrees (2/27/13), “It’s a testament to the audacity of America’s commercial aerospace industry and the adventurous spirit of America’s citizen-explorers.”

“Ebullience” — a highly positive, almost giddy view of the future — is always associated with the approach of transformative, twice-per-century Maslow Windows over the last 200 years.

Although not seen since JFK and the 1960s Apollo Moon program, when Walter Cronkite predicted that after Apollo 11, “everything else that has happened in our time is going to be an asterisk,” this level of extraordinary excitement has been the fundamental driver of great explorations back to Lewis and Clark, as well as the largest macro-engineering projects, such as the Panama Canal and Apollo.

Tito is the former rocket scientist/businessman who ironically paid a hefty fee to the Russians for a ticket to the International Space Station back in 2001, when the U.S. was officially uninterested in fostering space tourism.

This time Tito wants to send a middle-aged married couple, who may have already have had children, on a 501 day mission to Mars using the free-return trajectory available in 2018. With no Mars landing or orbital goals, the mission costs less, is safer, and can be done sooner.

For you Apollo fans this would be like 1968’s Apollo 8 — the first human mission to the Moon’s vicinity — without the orbits, so the Tito mission is obviously not about Mars science. It’s operational focus is cruise science, which features the biggest remaining unknowns: i.e., the mental, physical, and social health of a Mars crew.

In my memory, the idea of using married couples on Mars missions goes back to a suggestion by sociologist Betty Halliwell, Ph.D. in the late 1980s. I remember seeing her paper in 1988 at NASA’s 2nd Conference on Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century in Houston. After 25 years, I located her and she promised to send me the paper so I could highlight it here.

But what’s really driving the quintessentially ebullient, 72-year-old Tito?

We have not sent humans beyond the Moon in more than 40 years. I’ve been waiting, and a lot of people my age have been waiting. And I think it’s time to put an end to that lapse.

This giant step in human expansion into the Cosmos “is very symbolic, and we need it to represent humanity with a man and woman.”

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Jan 13 2013

A Visit to Spaceport America

What a great way to start the New Year with a peek at the future in space at Spaceport America just north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.

The Spaceport bills itself as: The world’s first purpose-built, commercial spaceport, designed to enable affordable, efficient and effective space access and unlock the potential of space for everyone.
(All images by Bruce Cordell on 1/6/2013.)

Designed, built, and operated by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, the $200+M Spaceport is home to the world’s first commercial passenger spaceline company, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

The word is that the first group — including Branson himself — of the several hundred aspiring future private astronauts who’ve booked their reservation with Virgin Galactic will be launched into suborbital space by the end of 2013.

Spaceport America provides some of the most spectacular evidence that we are indeed just around the corner from the next transformational, 1960s-style Maslow Window, expected by mid-decade.

This view to the east from the security station shows the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space building — a 120,000 sq ft combined hangar and terminal — with the San Andres Mountains in the distance. White Sands National Monument and the Space History Museum in Alamogordo are to the southeast over this range.

Just north of the Gateway building is the Spaceport Operations Center dome.

We’ve pulled up to the front door and are looking north.

On the second floor of the Ops Center the “Eye” window allows us to survey all activities on the runway officially known as the “Governor Bill Richardson Spaceway,” visible to the east.

Here we look south to the Gateway building from inside the Ops Center (through the glass).

In this north view we’re experiencing breathtaking (!) speeds along the 10,000 foot runway. It’s currently being lengthened by about 2000 feet (too late for us!).

After Branson and his guests and crew land following their first trip into space, they’ll taxi back to the Gateway much like this (looking west).

This close-up of the Gateway building’s east side reveals the third-floor balcony where passengers and guests will gather to contemplate how life-altering it is to become a private astronaut and venture 100 km above the Earth!

At the end of our Spaceport America tour in front of the Gateway, we experienced a “reflective” moment ourselves (look closely below) …
… and realized that Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America have the potential to not only trigger a quantum leap in commercial spaceflight all over the world, but to transform the state of New Mexico into a new, global center for space-related informal education and tourism.

With New Mexico’s impressive space-related assets and history (e.g., Alamogordo Space Museum, White Sands, Holloman AFB, NASA and NMSU facilities, VLA), expected hordes of tourists drawn to the Spaceport for a glimpse of the future, and world-class investors taking notice (e.g., Ted Turner’s major ranch nearby) — isn’t it possible we could see the birth of a new Disney-style space-related theme park in southern New Mexico to complement the anticipated success of Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, and to celebrate our expansion into the new international Space Age?

Time will tell.

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Dec 24 2012

Merry Christmas 2012 !

Christmas is an official national holiday in the United States and the day that Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Christ about 2000 years ago.

This year we are being treated to a heavenly sky show involving a dance between the most spectacular planet in the sky — Jupiter — and our favorite satellite — the Moon — which are less than 2 degrees apart on Christmas evening. Click HERE for details.

The Moon and Jupiter are two of the closest friends the Earth has ever had!
(Courtesy D.A. Seal/JPL)

As you enjoy this cosmic Christmas spectacle, keep in mind that the Moon and Jupiter are credited with playing major roles in making Earth habitable for humans!

For example, Earth’s axial tilt of 23.5 degrees — which produces the annual seasons — is anchored by the Moon’s gravity. In its absence our axial tilt would chaotically vary from 0 to 85 degrees, producing either no seasons and enlarged polar ice caps (for near-zero tilts) or winter-like snows near the equator (for larger tilts). This kind of climate instability would have made life for early humans (i.e., ~200,000 years ago) much more difficult, if not impossible.

Jupiter is traditionally viewed as a comet deflector stationed in the outer solar system, but recent studies indicate its role has been much more proactive and nuanced. For example, its mass and position are apparently tuned to deliver just the right amount of water to Earth (to form its oceans) via ancient asteroid impacts — too much and the continents would have been covered by water and too little and life could not have flourished. Always the cosmic guardian, other asteroids apparently targeted by Jupiter caused mass extinctions on Earth, including the most famous one 65 million years ago that took out the dinosaurs, paving the way eventually for humans.

However, now that the dinosaurs are ancient history and Earth has plenty of water we take a dimmer view of potential Jupiter-inspired asteroid extinction events on Earth. Far from making Jupiter a villain in disguise as some have recently suggested, it appears that Jupiter is continuing in its nurturing/protective role for humanity by encouraging us to learn how to mitigate cosmic threats to Earth by expanding into space.

This process is being accelerated by the approaching transformative Maslow Window, expected to arrive by mid-decade.

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Dec 21 2012

Welcome to the Real Planetary Doomsday

It isn’t the one you think.

Sadly, NASA hasn’t been inundated with hundreds of phone calls per day from panic-stricken citizens about it, like NASA has about 12/21/12 and the end of the Mayan calendar.

Will our number finally come up today?

It’s isn’t about Nibiru (aka Planet X) that magically has escaped detection for decades and threatens any minute to swoop down on Earth and flip its poles or worse — trigger an instant replay of the cosmic disaster that took out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Indeed dark comet enthusiasts — including astronomer Jocelyn Bell who discovered pulsars in the 1960s — are right about the potential threat to Earth, but there is no astrophysical reason to expect our number to come up TODAY!

And it’s certainly not about galactic alignments, where earthquakes and tsunamis are triggered on Earth by the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of the Milky Way.

Let’s get real: even if a special Sun-Earth-Galaxy Center line-up existed today — which it doesn’t — the supermassive black hole is still 27,000 light years away. That’s a long, long way from us and its force is negligible.

The Real Planetary Doomsday we face today is that cuts in NASA funding are triggering the loss of a generation of planetary scientists.

According to Mark Sykes of the Planetary Science Institute:

The US solar system exploration program is supported by NASA-funded scientists at government facilities, universities, and private companies … Their work directly advances the strategic goals of the NASA Planetary Division and strongly contributes to STEM educational efforts across the country …

Sykes ominously concludes that due to NASA cuts:
“Younger planetary scientists in particular face an imminent crisis in their careers. They will be lost first. Many more will follow. The consequences will be long term.”

While this funding situation is expected to turn around dramatically as the mid-decade Maslow Window and “Critical State” begins to engulf the world, the fact remains that many planetary scientists face near-term challenges.

Despite the bright future just around the corner, many will be lost.

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