Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 22, 2004
It's time that we put a giant crucifix in lights on the Moon! Congress has just pushed through a $388 billion spending bill. Into it was snuck a funding increase for NASA to accommodate George W. Bush's plan to return astronauts to the Moon. This puts Bush's vaunted space plan on par with other such last-minute additions as one removing previous barriers to government funding of anti-abortion doctors.
Fundamentalist Christians played a key role in re-electing George W. Bush President and giving the Republicans an even stronger stranglehold on Congress. It is clear that they will continue to move the country to be more conservative, and to further blur the lines between church and state.
The country needs more unity, and I think it's time those of us "obstructionists" oblige. We could well achieve this unity by constructing something I call the Lunar Crucifix.
As the ultimate faith-based initiative, we could task NASA with emplacing a huge cross in lights stretching across the face of the Moon. The cross would of course be best seen during a new moon, when the Near Side is dark. However, because the lunar surface reflects only a few percent of the sunlight it receives, a Lunar Crucifix could be designed to be visible even during a full Moon.
Fundamentalist Christians around the US and across the globe will then forevermore be able to look up to the Moon and be inspired. Lovers out on a date viewing the Moon will remember not to break any of those Commandments posted down at the courthouse. Most importantly, those who are not Fundamentalist Christians will be reminded of who's in charge here on Earth.
All we would need to do is to run a few long lines of lights to make a gigantic outline of a crucifix on the Moon's Near Side, which always faces Earth. Although it would entail some unique challenges, especially in transporting the components to the Moon or making them in-situ, it should not be that much different than constructing Earthbound oil pipelines or power lines once the components are on site.
Although the lights could be powered by solar panels made from silicon mined from the Moon, massive energy storage would be required for the two-week lunar night. Shipping nuclear reactors to the Moon is therefore a more likely scenario. Happily, a growing number of nations could contribute to that task.
Whatever the details, the important thing is the Moon would henceforth have a giant cross on it.
Of course, there could be fundamental arguments against this plan. The most obvious and serious would be: why not an American flag instead?
I would argue that we have already put flags on the Moon, and that it would be too "been-there-done-that." More importantly, a crucifix represents the ultimate goal of the current government. Why spend the money to put up something we'll only have to change anyway? In any event, the world would know it was put up there by America, since no other country could conceive of doing such a thing.
Frankly, one need only look at the confluence of natural and historical events to see that it's clearly God's will that we put a big cross on the Moon.
The Moon looms relatively large in our sky, keeps the same face toward the Earth, and is even relatively fast and easy to get to (at least compared to, say, Pluto). As has already been noted by Arthur C. Clarke and others, this makes the Moon a perfect billboard.
Back on Earth, God created Man and gave him the smarts to eventually get there. If you will forgive my sacrilege, you might even say we evolved to fulfill that destiny. However, as we all know, Evolution is just an atheistic theory.
In any event, a few thousand years after our Creation, we have the technology for spaceflight, and God has put George W. Bush and the Republicans in power. Now is clearly the time to set up a Lunar Crucifix as He has unmistakably intended us to do.
To be sure, NASA could do other useful things on the Moon while they set up the lights. They could explore the Moon's geology, build astronomical observatories, and help the USAF set up missiles on the Far Side that can be launched in stealth against Iraq, Iran or the latest hotspot say, Bolivia.
This is a large undertaking, but Republicans could actually start smaller while they finish consolidating their power.
For example, the US could start by launching swarms of small "FaithSats" into low Earth orbit, where they would fly in the formation of a cross, carrying lights so that they would be visible against the night sky. The lines of the cross they would make would be dotted, but you would recognize the pattern as clear as day (although it would be night) as they flew over the Earth.
You would need a lot of FaithSats, but they could be pretty small and you could put a lot of them into one big rocket, possibly a Russian rocket now that they are on our side.
Another idea is to orbit a low-altitude satellite consisting of a huge Mylar sheet several miles across, large enough to eclipse the sun. The sheet would be opaque except for a clear image in the center. To someone on the ground at the right place and time, this satellite would blot out the Sun and replace it briefly with the image of Our Lord.
You could arrange it such that "JesusSats" eclipse the sun during big sporting events for example, halftime at the Super Bowl. It would be exciting to watch, not to mention more inspiring and palatable than a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.
This is not the time for the Republicans' typical shyness. Let's get with the (space) program, if only for the sake of the unity and world peace. There would be nothing like a Lunar Crucifix to broadcast that Republican message of peace and love, "You will be assimilated."
Greg Zsidisin is the founder of and contributing editor for AstroExpo.com, a space technology website.
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Book Review: 'Leaving Earth'
Washington (UPI) Nov 18, 2004
Robert Zimmerman, who covers aerospace for UPI Science News, also is an independent space historian. His most recent book, Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, is being awarded the Eugene M. Emme Award on Nov. 16. The award, from the American Astronautical Society, is for the best book of 2003 about space exploration written for the general public.
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