Why Elton Muskrat Shouldn’t Be Space President

Lauren Huang / Daily Nexus

October 12, 1492: Christopher Columbus sailed on the blue ocean …

October 4, 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first artificial satellite into orbit.

July 20, 1969: The United States’ Apollo 11 landed the first humans on the moon.

May 6, 2002: Elon Musk founds Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX.

May 30, 2020: SpaceX made history as the first private company to launch humans into orbit.

May 6, 2021: Toni Shindler-Ruberg set out to dismantle the fictionalized tale of ‘discovery’, private space flight and interplanetary colonization.

When evaluating the advent of private space companies, it is impossible to ignore the stories of “discovery”, innovation and colonization, which are inextricably linked with white privilege, patriarchy and classism. Exploration has always been political. Space flights have always been political.

On Earth, the so-called “discovery” of the “New World” was based on the white European ethnocentric perspective – a naive, ignorant and dismissive worldview that ignored the development of advanced civilizations by other peoples beyond. from their own experience. Complex and established Indigenous communities populated North and South America long before Columbus came to shore.

The discovery and the tendency closely related to colonization are most often the result of force and violence. Columbus saw the natives as “obstacles” and his “discovery” efforts resulted in the horrific deaths of many indigenous peoples.

That’s not to say that colonizing Mars would disrupt a pre-existing alien civilization – although technically we never know it. Rather, I seek to highlight the patriarchal, white and privileged origins of “discovery” and colonization.

The stratification of gender by society and the devaluation of the power and value of femininity are the basis of our relationship and our conception of nature – an entity closely associated with femininity or the “mother” figure. Femininity is powerful and strong, but the social inequality surrounding masculinity / femininity has shaped the unbalanced and destructive relationship between man and nature. The social subordination of femininity leads to a destructive sense of entitlement, in which exploitation and violence against nature is a common and poorly justified event. The destruction, pollution and conquest of nature are an extension and analogy of oppression and violence against femininity and women in society.

“Discovering” nature implies that it only exists or has importance in relation to male existence and the male gaze. Colonization is a forced physical oppression on pre-existing human populations, as well as a forced control over Mother Nature.

The feminization of nature is a form of masculine conquest, a means of applying existing oppressive power structures to the language, design, and physical processing of the biosphere.

Historically, travel was a costly investment, funded by private investors and monarchs with the understanding that whatever was found would be the property of the Crown – people and resources.

The feminization of nature is a form of masculine conquest, a means of applying existing oppressive power structures to the language, design, and physical processing of the biosphere.

In the modern age, when various voices in society and technology are at an all time high, new interstellar ventures remain eerily similar to Earth expeditions of knowledge. White man. Privilege. Wealth. The big three space companies – Blue Origin (founded by Jeff Bezos), Axiom Space (founded by Michael T. Suffredini and Kam Ghaffarian) and SpaceX (founded by Elon Musk) – are all run by middle-aged, white and extremely wealthy. .

Men and the male ego dominated Highly political 20th century space race, often called the war of scientific intelligences. Space flights have generated little or no income. Instead, the successes have served to advance the political reputations of their respective countries. Wooden ships have become spaceships – symbols of power, prestige and control. In other words, the space races of the past and present are veritable multibillion dollar penis measurement contests. Oh, do you have a rocket? Well my rocket is bigger.

In an era of heightened international tensions, the modern space race evokes the international relations of the Cold War era. International competition in the days of the Cold War and the space race turned into xenophobia and racism. The US space program has brought the nation closer together and provided jobs for workers, but it has also led to a dangerous level of extreme nationalism.

Mistrust and discrimination against immigrants has become commonplace. Mistrust and discrimination against immigrants is still rife.

With Sinophobia raising its ugly head during the pandemic, it’s another stab in the gut to hear that the only reason SpaceX does not file patents is if China can not copy them. Such actions and statements, whether public or private, perpetuate the characterization of foreign countries – especially China – as devious, manipulative and threatening.

A little healthy competition is fine, but do we really need to feed the fire that divides modern society?

Millionaires fund space companies, with the aim of “advancing the future of innovation”. Honestly, they just want a ride on the smoothest crotch rocket yet.

And even the advocates of space flight as an alternative to Earth are laughing at themselves. Space is not a realistic habitat (not only in terms of physical space, but also of potable water) for the entire world population.

But no doubt that is their intention. The majority of the population does not matter.

The reality is that the private space industry is a multi-million to multi-billion dollar sink that overlooks our earthly problems. Steadily rising global temperatures, famine, poverty, underfunding of education and health care inequalities are more urgent than ever.

Am I the only one who can remember that time when everyone was panicking because NASA was “broke”? Recently, NASA purchased a unique seat on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for $ 90 million.

Not to mention NASA $ 4.2 billion contract with Boeing and $ 2.4 billion contract with SpaceX, money that could have been used to invest internally to hire new talent and improve and adapt existing technologies, reducing costs in the long run.

When our attention is focused on other planets, we delay or give up improving – and survival – on Earth.

Commercializing space flight to the “ordinary” citizen is a form of escape and avoidance for those who can afford it. Axiom Space and SpaceX Announced Orbital Rides For The Cool cost of $ 55 million.

A 2019 report According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, it would cost $ 12.7 billion to end homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This money could be used to improve the government’s space programs. But more importantly, this money could be used for the support, development and improvement of the community and society.

But financial support alone will not solve all social problems. When our attention is focused on other planets, we delay or give up improving – and survival – on Earth.

To Elon Musk, “It is important that we become a space civilization and that we are among the stars. We want what’s in science fiction novels and movies… to someday be real. “

Do you know what I want to be real? Families having food on their table. Universal and quality education, free health care, expanded social programs, restorative justice programs… the list goes on.

Larry Connor, Axiom investor and future AX-1 passenger shared his thoughts: “We have a lot of national problems and challenges, but also international ones, but does that mean that we have to forget about the future?”

Connor embodies the disconnected upper echelon of society – so far from the rest of us, the financial padding in our pockets shields them from all the foreseeable consequences that we must bear. He kind of says, “Fuck it,” and moves on. There will be no future – interstellar or terrestrial – if life continues on its current trajectory.

Once the world’s population realizes that the ultra-rich serve no one else but themselves, space will be an airless, directionless void of panic for the rich to escape. Private spaceships will become multibillion dollar ejection pods in the face of terrestrial consequences.

I hear the screams now… “Eat the rich!” “Take their heads off!” (During the French Revolution.) Guillotines do not operate in zero gravity, a fact Musk and Bezos are certainly aware of. (For legal reasons, I think it’s necessary to stress that I’m not harboring any active or future conspiracies regarding the untimely demise of bald or bald billionaires.)

Make no mistake, I am a strong believer in change and innovation. Advances in the technological and medical industries are opening up new avenues for connection, collaboration and quality of life. Cars, phones, pallet houses, color change sutures and vaccines are all innovative developments that serve the broader goals of mental and physical well-being.

Of course, it’s exciting to see roaring rocket boosters, a new production focusing on lasting durability (whatever you can save from a violent orbital reentry) and the weightless selfies of the astronauts. However, I see the latest push for spaceflight as an innovation in the name of innovation, rather than tackling the current, serious / critical issues we face here and now. Space does not generate income and its exploration does not provide answers to terrestrial problems.

It is only by refocusing and uniting our intellectual, emotional and financial resources on the future of the Earth that we will finally take a small step for man and a giant step for mankind.

Toni Shindler-Ruberg thinks we should give some space.


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