When I was a kid, I read this amazing article. It was like Reagan-era during the height of the “Space Wars” I believe. I also am pretty sure it was a National Geographic magazine. At any rate, you get the basic gist.

The article? It talked about those who ruled space, ruled the Earth. The article discussed more than just Star Wars. I thought it was enlightening and could see the point of the article. It’s not just about giant space guns a la The Death Star.

Just about everything gets bounced from our land and into space where a satellite picks it up and bounces it right back down to earth. Kind of funny when you think about it. It’s like when your mail routes north to come back south or an airline flight takes you east to go west.

People complain about the pollution of our planet. Very few people talk about the pollution to our space. This article made mention of it. Predicted future pollution which I can’t even remember. Wish I could in light of what I found today.

I’m surprised I even remember this article considering it was early/mid 80’s. I was just a kid. But hey, when an article grabs you, guess it really grabs you.

What would we do today with our our GPS (yes that’s what the S stands for) devices telling us how to get somewhere? Our TV stations which, even if you have cable, come via satellite. (So much for their claims that they are superior to satellite with no outages.) The ability to have phones you can use worldwide, even in the heart of the Amazon jungle? (I know I use that one all the time… ha! But some people really do!) You get the drift.

So what has happened?

Images below from the European Space Agency. Kudos to you guys in a huge way. They are awesome!

That’s our marble floating out there in outer space. Surrounded by the crap we’ve spewed out since Sputnick in 1957, a short 52 (this fall) years ago.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-space stuff. My thoughts are? You guys are the suck… subpar. (I understand it’s not the space folks fault… a great portion of the blame falls on *ahem* govt jerkwads *ahem*.) I’m sorry? We got a man onto the moon when? Why the heck haven’t we been back? Why don’t we have a moon base? For crying out loud here’s plain and simple facts. We have a space station. That started from NOTHING. At least on the moon you got a basis for floor and hey, what’s that thing? Oh yeah… gravity. And if you can get off the earth you can certainly get off the moon. For one thing there’s less of that infernal gravity to deal with and for another we managed to do it back with that first guy who moonwalked long before Jackson dreamt of the idea. But no, here we are and we’re no closer to a moon base and all we’ve done is made it more dangerous to get there.

It’s 2009. I figured we’d have electric cars. And no not like the few Smartcars we have running our streets (aren’t they cute?). I figured we’d be well on our way to ditching fossil fuels. Silly sci fi girl in me never figured on the idiots in Detroit and their ilk going the opposite route and promoting even WORSE options and by some twisted sickness that can only be described as America actually make the dang things POPULAR. Silly me. No it takes gas getting to $4 a gallon to make people go “Wait a darned minute.” No one cared back when we were paying like $.75 a gallon. “Eh, 15 miles to the gallon? No biggie! Gas is cheap!”

So this isn’t an anti Space the Final Frontier post. Or even an anti-tech post. Not from this batgirl playing the “Whomever dies with the most toys WINS” game. It’s just a post of “Woah”. It’s one thing to read about it as a little girl and another thing to see the dang thing in action some 20 odd years later.

And to SEE it. In pictures.

It’s amazing. And sadly depressing. Depressing? Because some of this is just the equivalent of cosmic litter. There’s 10,000 TRACKED items floating up there. You don’t want to even guess how many things are too small. And it’s the teeny tiny barely noticeable flecks of paint… picking up cosmic speed and WHAMO the space shuttle has a cracked windshield. Ack, that’s way scarier than the far bigger fly you hit on the way to Starbucks this morning.

How much stuff bopping around up there works? Fifteen percent. Yeesh. Even ickier? China decided last year it could just blow up a defunct satellite. Eh, we don’t need this weather satellite, it’s not working any more. Hey let’s use it for target practice! Bring out the new guns to test! Huzzah for big boom boom! Increased our near-Earth clutter by 22%.

So what’s the blog kinda rant about? Well really it’s just me, once more, going “Wow”.

Cause you know why?

We are now among the few… the proud… the ringed…

Update those science textbooks for the kiddies. Earth is now a ringed planet. (Um, I read a book about that once… we built a ring or two around the planet… it didn’t end well for us… yikes! Piers… if they wanna turn this sucker to ice I’m moving to the mountains!)

My thought is… we popped the question but did we allow earth to accept our proposal? I’m gonna have to chat it up with my rocket scientists. See what they think of this.

Frankly it’s one nifty as all get out photos. I’m kinda hoping to buy one for my wall. But I dig space art. I blame my friend growing up, the artist Ron Miller.

I fully plan to see this live and in person some day. I just hope it’s safe for me to travel there. That picture is a wee bit scary.

He who rules space… rules the Earth.

–Lady O