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Planned Military Space Plane Launch Highlights Keep Space for Peace Week Concerns
The Maine-based Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, founded in 1992, maintains that an expected October 25 launch of the military space plane (X-37B) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida will help to accelerate a new arms race in space.
The group also has announced that their annual Keep Space for Peace Week will include more than 75 local actions in a dozen countries around the world. Set from October 6-13 the protests call on all space-faring nations to halt research, development, testing, and deployment of war-making technologies in space.
Global Network chair Dave Webb (who also serves as the chair of UK’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) said, “We believe that the X-37B space plane is part of the Pentagon's effort to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour - known as Prompt Global Strike. Thus as the U.S. moves forward with these kinds of global strike systems from and through space it will be likely that Russia and China will be forced to respond by refusing to reduce their nuclear weapons and by developing space technologies of their own to counter the U.S. program.”
The Global Network maintains that the development of these new space planes is one reason that the Obama administration and the Pentagon are eager to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles in Russia and China in the years to come. As key elements in the growing U.S. first-strike program (along with so-called ‘missile defense’ systems), they become even more effective if the U.S. can get its potential rivals to reduce their nuclear retaliatory capability giving the Pentagon an even greater chance of pulling off a successful decapitating first-strike attack.
The actual cost of the X-37 is hidden in the Pentagon's 'black,' or classified, budget - is likely to cost more than $1 billion. The launch vehicle alone - a two-stage, liquid-propelled Atlas V rocket - costs as much as $200 million.
“Our annual Keep Space for Peace Week is an important way for us to continue the effort to build a movement around the planet to keep the heavens free from the ever expanding war system. Already we see military satellites in space coordinating warfare on Earth. The aerospace industry and the Space Command are pushing hard to move new offensive technologies like the X-37B into space. It is our goal to build resistance to these expensive, dangerous, and destabilizing moves,” said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network.
The Keep Space for Peace Week poster is available here
The list of local actions around the world during space week can be foundhere
The award winning documentary Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space is now available online here