Chapter Three: A New Role for the World’s Militaries

Front cover of Space and Ocean Exploration by Danny QuintanaOne of the most amazing advances in human history has been our increasing knowledge of the vastness of the universe. In the short span of 500 years, the travel time on our planet has greatly diminished. Today, flights to the other side of the world are routine. In the mere span of 18 hours, humans can fly from Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A., to Sydney, Australia. Most of the world’s major cities are connected by 22 hours of flight time.

Our small planet is interconnected by the Internet, jet travel, international trade, telecommunications satellites and common laws that govern all of us who are civilized. The International Standards Organization sets over 20,000 standards for manufacturing on a whole host of industries. This furthers international trade.  There are numerous international conventions on the environment, trade and crime. Law exists.

Caught in the Middle by Danny Quintana front cover, book on Hispanic immigration and how to fix united states' immigration problems Our ancestors had a much larger planet. You usually only went on the 1,600 mile Camino Real de Tierra Adentro from Mexico City to Santa Fe one time. The trip was six months long and dangerous. Travel was on horseback or foot with numerous stops. If you survived on the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail and made it to the rich lands of the northwest you did not go back. The trek would take four to five months. In addition to being subjected to the elements, the various Indian tribes who were fighting to preserve their way of life might attack you. Accidents were common. Crime was another danger. A wrong turn might mean death from starvation or thirst. The journey was not for the faint of heart.

Today, the drive from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Portland, Oregon, is 13 hours driving in air-
conditioned vehicles complete with music and comfortable seats on well-maintained roads. There are numerous rest stops, nice hotels, restaurants and sightseeing along the way. If you choose to fly, the trip is about two hours. National and global tourism are huge multi-billion dollar industries. All of this is possible because the planet’s militaries keep the peace.

Space walk from International Space Station Obviously, the criminals of our small planet do not feel bound by the rule of law and will rob travelers, blow up restaurants and schools, kidnap, rob, steal, sell dangerous illegal drugs and do what ill-mannered scum throughout history have done: crime. Here, the world’s militaries work to keep the peace.

The fact that humans can travel from the United States to places our ancestors would only dream about is itself a remarkable testimony of how much progress we have made in a mere 500 years. Law, technology and the world’s militaries enable humans to visit Beijing, Moscow, Bali, Paris, Puerto Vallarta, Vancouver British Columbia, Machu Picchu, the wildlife safaris of Kenya, islands in the Caribbean or just the beautiful national parks here in the United States. The world’s militaries work as global police forces to keep the peace, protect trade and travelers and enforce international laws.

This new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 3521 from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is not out of focus. Instead, the galaxy itself has a soft, woolly appearance as it a member of a class of galaxies known as flocculent spirals. Like other flocculent galaxies, NGC 3521 lacks the clearly defined, arcing structure to its spiral arms that shows up in galaxies such as Messier 101, which are called grand design spirals. In flocculent spirals, fluffy patches of stars and dust show up here and there throughout their discs. Sometimes the tufts of stars are arranged in a generally spiralling form, as with NGC 3521, but illuminated star-filled regions can also appear as short or discontinuous spiral arms. About 30 percent of galaxies share NGC 3521's patchiness, while approximately 10 percent have their star-forming regions wound into grand design spirals. NGC 3521 is located almost 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). The British astronomer William Herschel discovered the object in 1784. Through backyard telescopes, NGC 3521 can have a glowing, rounded appearance, giving rise to its nickname, the Bubble Galaxy.

Because of our advancement in space research and exploration, we are now aware of other dangers. Asteroids could take out the entire planet and there is the probability of alien civilizations in other parts of our huge galaxy. In this century, the global militaries will be required to engage in mankind’s most important missions. In addition to protecting the planet from criminals, in this century global militaries need to protect the planet from asteroids and develop super weapons.

Scientists are reaching out to the universe, trying to contact other life forms. This is a big mistake. We should continue to discover what is out there. But contacting civilizations far more advanced than humans who are still fighting over pieces of land based upon religious books written thousands of years ago is not prudent. WHEN we encounter other life forms, they are going to be hostile, far more advanced and extremely dangerous. The physicist Stephen Hawkins holds the chair at Oxford once held by Sir Isaac Newton. He had this to say about alien life forms:

“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said, according to The Sunday Times. “The real challenge is working out what aliens might actually be like.”

Stephen HawkingHawking says that they could be microbes – basic animals such as worms which have been on Earth for millions of years, but suggests that extraterrestrial life could develop much further. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” Hawking said. “I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

The scientist, who is paralyzed by motor neuron disease, warned that contact with alien life could spell disaster for the human race. “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.” 

The worlds’ scientists need to work together on space-based weapons for the not-so-distant threats of asteroids hitting the planet. We don’t know how much time we have before we encounter other alien civilizations. Time goes by very fast. The dangers we face might be decades away or just a few years. Our efforts to contact other civilizations might have been successful. Thus humans have to work together to face common threats.

Asteroid breaking up in flight to hit some planet, moon or other space objects.Asteroids have been slamming into the earth since the planet was formed. The most common theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs is an asteroid hit the earth. The impact was so great the dust and debris blocked out the sun, altered the weather and known life on the planet ended. Humans await the same fate. But unlike the dinosaurs, we have opposable thumbs and technology. Here is what some scientists speculate would happen if a giant asteroid hit the earth:

By the time you get up to a mile-wide asteroid, you are working in the 1 million megaton range. This asteroid has the energy that’s 10 million times greater than the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. It’s able to flatten everything for 100 to 200 miles out from ground zero. In other words, if a mile-wide asteroid were to directly hit New York City, the force of the impact probably would completely flatten every single thing from Washington D.C. to Boston, and would cause extensive damage perhaps 1,000 miles out—that’s as far away as Chicago.

The amount of dust and debris thrown up into the atmosphere would block out the sun and cause most living things on the planet to perish. If an asteroid that big were to land in the ocean, it would cause massive tidal waves hundreds of feet high that would completely scrub the coastlines in the vicinity.

George Washington prayers at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War

    George Washington Prays at Valley Forge

The United States trades with the world. The Chinese, Japanese, Arabs and Europeans buy American bonds. A land war with China, Russia, Germany, Japan, Mexico or any other country is highly unlikely in this century. History has just moved on from the days of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Clearly the threats from criminal elements that hide behind religion will continue for the foreseeable future.

These little religious hoodlums who blow up mosques and schools and shoot girls in the face for wanting an education will not go away in our lifetime. They will continue to cause a lot of human suffering. Religious hoodlums and international drug dealers are not an existential threat to the survival of the species and all life on this planet. They just need to be prosecuted and if convicted of the numerous crimes they are committing, jailed.

An artist's concept of an impact event on Pallas. Credit: B. E. Schmidt and S. C. Radcliffe of UCLA.

       Concept of impact event on Pallas. 

In a world where we are a mere 22 hours apart, like each other or not, the threats from an asteroid hitting the earth is common to all governments. Contacting alien life forms that can come to our tiny planet and devour us is a common danger. Battling super-viruses that could kill life on this planet is a common threat. Fighting the criminals require the militaries of the planet to work together. Fortunately for humans, we already have the necessary military might to keep the peace.

Artist conception of asteroid killer We do not have the military to protect our tiny planet from asteroids or unwelcome invaders. We need to develop a global military for a space-based planetary defense primarily to protect the planet from asteroids, not space aliens. It is a question of when, not if our planet will be hit by asteroids. Contact by civilizations far more advanced than our own is possible, the planet being destroyed by an asteroid is probable. The math is there.

Life in other parts of the universe is probably. We now know there are billions of planets in the Goldilocks zone. These are planets that are close enough to a star to support life but not so far that it is too cold; it is just the right distance.  There are billions of galaxies and hundreds of billions of planets capable of having life. The mathematical probability that there are other life forms out there in a universe with billions of stars and billions of planets means humans and dolphins here on this tiny planet are not alone in the universe.

NASS NGC 4639, Barred Spiral Galaxy, 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo, 1500 galaxies that make up the Virgo Cluster, Taken by Hubble Space Telescope

Fortunately we are at great distances from even the nearest star. Asteroids are a different story. To be so imprudent and arrogant as to not prepare for an encounter with aliens will place humanity and all of the life forms on this planet at great risk. If “they” can get here, they can kill us. Inviting more advanced civilizations to come hunting for us could mean the end of life on this planet. Professor Hawking’s fear of space aliens while alarmist is not anywhere near as likely as asteroids destroying the planet. That in fact has happened before and without a space defense system this will happen again.

From the horrific sins of my Spanish and Portuguese ancestors and the devastation of the indigenous people on this side of this very small planet to the current destruction of numerous species, we should expect the same treatment. Human history is one of genocide. Exterminating numerous indigenous people with disease as well as better weapons prevailed. Unless we work together as a planet, the same fate awaits us.

International Space List surrounded by flags of the nations contributing The Russians, Chinese, Indians, Americans, European Union and others have excellent scientists working in the defense sectors of their economies. This research work on weapons should be accelerated but it must be a joint effort. The danger to our Earth from asteroids can only be ignored at the peril of all life on our small planet.

Unlike the animal kingdom, humans do not have a contract with nature. When the lion is finished eating, the other animals will literally graze right next to the pride and not be bothered. They all understand that the meal has been provided. The lions do not kill off other animals for “sport” but only to eat what they need. Humans kill for the joy of killing, not because of necessity. Would we expect less of an alien civilization that had mastered the use of the atom for space travel? Hawkin’s space aliens notwithstanding, the far bigger danger is from a collision with an asteroid that would end civilization.

It is not proven science that aliens have been in contact with human civilizations. It is the subject of much science fiction, and terrible documentaries. There is no science that human accomplishments were the result of instruction of space aliens. Must of these conjectures and poorly developed documentaries have been disproven by the scientific community.

Still, it is important to develop space-based weapons and better propulsion systems for inter solar-system travel and protection of all life on this tiny planet. The clearest evidence our planet has not been visited by alien civilizations is we are still alive and not occupied.

Iron Dome Missile Defense SystemThe current Iron Dome and Missile Defense System that has been developed by the U.S. military and Israel needs to be expanded and deployed in outer space. A global space defense shield will protect the earth from asteroids.  A global Iron Dome Missile Defense System needs to be deployed as soon as scientifically possible. Here, research must be accelerated and expanded with all military scientists working together. We all have a shared interest in survival. There are tens of thousands of asteroids just in our solar system. All it takes is one large asteroid and the present life forms on this tiny planet will be exterminated.

The 1950s and ‘60s brought a host of projects involving the use of nuclear power for space travel. Eventually, the projects were cancelled because of lack of progress and funding. The Americans have not been able to overcome the effects of radiation and the necessity for shielding, thus the extra weight made these scientific projects unfeasible. We gave up instead of continuing with the science of the use of atomic power for space travel. Research in this area should be re-started. New propulsion systems must be developed to reduce the massive distances between planets.

Aircraft carrier and combat ships The ocean of our ancestors seemed to go on forever. Technology improved and the distances between continents has been shortened from months to hours.  Given the distances of outer space where a Mars mission can take up to ten months, being able to get there in one week with the use of the power of the atom is something that should be pursued. The Russians have a program underway proposing the use of the atom for long distance space exploration.

Anatolij Perminov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, announced that it is going to develop a nuclear-powered spacecraft for deep space travel. Preliminary design was done by 2013, and nine more years are planned for development (in space assembly). The price is set at 17 billion rubles ($600 million). The nuclear propulsion would have mega-watt class, provided necessary funding is available, Roscosmos Head stated.

“This system would consist of a space nuclear power and the matrix of ion engines.”…Hot inert gas temperature of 1500 °C from the reactor turns turbines. The turbine turns the generator and compressor, which circulates the working fluid in a closed circuit. The working fluid is cooled in the radiator. The generator produces electricity for the same ion (plasma) engine…”

He said the propulsion will be able to support human missions to Mars, with cosmonauts staying on the red planet for 30 days. This journey to Mars with nuclear propulsion and a steady acceleration would take six weeks, instead of eight months by using chemical propulsion – assuming thrust of 300 times higher than that of chemical propulsion.

Elon Musk is Planning a SpaceX Mars Mission

Elon Musk Plans a SpaceX Mars Mission

The world needs to put the tribal differences of the past aside and concentrate on the global threats to our planet’s survival. This means we can look out to the universe and search for other life forms like scouts in ancient times observing the enemy. It means protecting the planet from an asteroid, something that will require global military cooperation. A space based system is too expensive for any one nation but with militaries working together, it is not outside of human capabilities.

Had the indigenous people of the Americas repelled every incursion of my Spanish and Portuguese ancestors as well as those of the northern European tribes, they would not have been slaughtered. Obviously the dinosaurs were not able to move the asteroid that had a collision with the earth that wiped them out. Alien civilizations are a very small threat to humanity but one we need to at least study. But asteroids are a clear and present danger to all life forms on this tiny planet.

The study of advanced weapons should continue for as long as humans occupy this planet. Scientific research on weapons and space travel is what will ultimately save mankind and our animal and plant kingdom from asteroids. We have bigger fights to prepare for than fighting each other. Religious books have their place, but asteroids could not care less about who owns what piece of land based upon 7,000-year-old texts.

We live in a new age. The planet has become tiny and international travel is a reality for millions of people. We live in a interconnected global world where we can talk with friends on the other side of the planet and with proper planning visit them. We can eat Thai food while we drink Argentine wine, wear Russian clothes, drive Japanese vehicles made with Spanish parts and Mexican labor and talk on cell phones made in China with Korean parts. We are one planet. Developing space based defense systems is just an insurance policy that present day life forms will not suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs.