The 1AC’s frontier rhetoric about space colonization will create a slippery slope toward galactic colonialism and a new arms race
(Peter Dickens, teaches at the Universities of Brighton and Cambridge, UK. His most recent book, co-written with James Ormrod, is Cosmic Society: Towards a Sociology of the Universe (2009). The Humanization of the Cosmos—To What End? And The Cosmos: Capitalism’s New “Outside” ,, DA:6/21/11, CP)
Space colonization brings a number of other manufactured risks. The farther space vehicles penetrate the solar system, the more likely it is that they will be powered by nuclear, rather than solar, energy. It is not widely appreciated, for example, that the 1997 Cassini Mission to Saturn’s moons (via Jupiter and Venus) was powered by plutonium. One estimate is that if something had gone wrong while Cassini was still circling the earth, some thirty to forty million deaths could have occurred.22 No plans were in place for such an eventuality. Yet, as early as 1964, a plutonium-powered generator fell to earth, having failed to achieve orbit. Dr. John Gofman, professor of medical physics at the University of California, Berkeley, then argued that there was probably a direct link between that crash and an increase of lung cancer on Earth. Both President Obama and the Russian authorities are now arguing for generating electricity with plutonium in space, and building nuclear-propelled rockets for missions to Mars.23 Some of the wilder plans for space colonization also entail major risk. These include proposals for “planetary engineering,” whereby the climates of other planets would be changed in such a way as to support life. Dyes, artificial dust clouds, genetically engineered bacteria, and the redirecting of sunlight by satellite mirrors are all being advanced as means of “terraforming,” or making parts of the cosmos more like earth. This and the Cassini example further demonstrate the nature of “manufactured risk.” Science and technology, far from creating Renaissance or Enlightenment-style optimism and certainty, are creating new problems that are unforeseen and extremely difficult to cope with. But even manufactured risks may be minimal in scope, compared with another risk stemming from cosmic colonization. This is outright war. Armed conflict has long been a common feature of past colonialisms; between colonizing nations as well as between the colonizers and aboriginal peoples. Satellites are already a means by which territories and investments on Earth are monitored and protected by governments operating on behalf of their economic interests. But the prospect of galactic colonialisms raises the distinct possibility of hostilities in space. Galactic wars may therefore be the product of galactic colonialism. Such a scenario was prefigured by the Star Trek science fiction television series in which the main role of “The Federation” is the protection of capitalist mining colonies.24 It is a discomforting fact that both China and the United States are now actively developing their own versions of “full spectrum dominance.” China demonstrated its capabilities in January 2007 by shooting down one of its own defunct satellites. In February 2008, the U.S. Navy demonstrated a similar capability, destroying a faulty U.S. satellite with a sea-based missile. An arms race in outer space has already started.
Link – Space Race
Space Race rhetoric establishes an anxiety over conquering the frontier
(Asif A. Siddiqi assistant professor of history at Fordham University and member of advisory board at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. wrote Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974 is widely considered to be the best English-language history of the Soviet space program in print and was identified by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the five best books" on space exploration. This book was later published in paperback in two separate volumes, Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge and The Soviet Space Race with Apollo. Competing Technologies, National(ist) Narratives, and Universal Claims: Toward a Global History of Space Exploration, Technology and Culture, Volume 51, Number 2, April 2010, pg 425-426, DA:6/21/11, CP)
In the fifty years since the launch of Sputnik on 4 October 1957, more than 6,000 functioning satellites have been launched into Earth orbit and beyond—some to the farthest reaches of our solar system. By its physical nature, space exploration has a resonance beyond national borders—at a fundamental level, it is a project that transcends national claims and appeals to the global, perhaps even to the universal. Yet our understanding of the half-century of space travel is still firmly rooted in the framework of the national imagination. Until now, barring very few exceptions, only nation states have been able to mobilize the resources necessary for regular access to space. For most laypersons, the perceived apotheosis of space exploration remains the heady days after Sputnik, when the United States and the Soviet Union competed to trump the other in a series of progressively more complex feats in space. The cold-war space race retains its mystique, either as a benchmark that subsequent accomplishments could never equal, or as an anomaly whose particular conditions could never be repeated. It has, in fact, become impossible to think of space exploration without allusion to the halcyon days of the 1960s and equally inconceivable for historians to interpret the act of space travel without the space race hovering over the very language that we use. My goal in this essay is to offer some thoughts on the way in which the relationship between national identity and space exploration has affected our discipline’s approach to the history of spaceflight—in fact, has been fundamental to it. This discussion is intended to be a starting point to revisit both the history and the historiography of space exploration and suggest some new avenues of investigation that move beyond formulations rooted in the cold-war space race. I will begin by illuminating the ways in which multiple and contradictory narratives—engendered by national claims—have been a staple of space history in both the United States and Russia, the two foremost spacefaring nations. The citizens of both nations remember space exploration quite differently, yet they appeal to the same kind of universal import. In addition, the maturation of other national space programs—those of China, Japan, and India, for example—will require us to approach space history with new lenses asmore andmore “new” narratives join the old cold-war-centered approach to space history. Second, by using the particular case of the burgeoning Indian space program and its postcolonial context, I will draw attention to avenues opened up by de-privileging borders in the history of space exploration, i.e., clearing the path to a potentially global history of space exploration. This line of thinking may raise a set of provocative questions concerning the motivations which lead nations to explore space, and why, in doing so, they take certain pathways that are not explicable by deterministic approaches.