Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Ceasul Bun" on Analog TV Timisoara

Finally, my October 25th, 2008 interview on Analog TV is online on Youtube (in Romanian) - click here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Space Renaissance Initiative

I just signed this appeal:

Help the space economy revolution!
The global economy is entering a deep crisis, the worst since 1929. This is the second act of the "Crisis of Closed-World Ideologies", which has been developing throughout the XX Century. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin wall was the Crisis of Collectivist Ideology. The recent massive failure of the financial system is the Crisis of Neo-Liberal Ideology. Both these ideologies failed because they are based upon a closed-world, terro-centric philosophy. There are now almost 7 billion humans making massive demands on planet Earth: we urgently need to open the frontier, and move to a wider vision of our world, so as to access geo-lunar system resources and energy. In short, we need a new "Open World Philosophy". The alternative would be the implosion and collapse of our civilization. The most promising event of the current time, the emerging countries' industrial revolution, will very soon have to face the dramatic insufficiency of the energy and other resources of the Earth. Because of this they are destined to fail if they remain locked within our planetary boundaries.
There are some encouraging signs, pointing the way out of such confinement: in 2004, Scaled Composites proved that low-cost space travel is feasible - as it has been for 50 years. And both China and India have the Moon in their sights: they seem to understand clearly that space offers an alternative to a darkening future.
This is because it is now evident that any closed-world strategy will result in tragedy, as the 1930s depression ended with World War II. Today, since the energy and resources of planet Earth are not enough, it is far too likely that this crisis will end with a terrible holocaust, if we do not reach outside our world to obtain new resources and energy.
Consequently if G20 discussions are to solve the economic crisis, they must include plans for geolunar system industrialization, as the only sustainable direction for development, since this will make non-terrestrial resources and energy available. If governments are to give out financial aid, it should not be to obsolete industrial segments!
Help should be given to the most promising industrial revolution of our age: the ignition of the space economy, which can only be based on low-cost space travel. This means, initially, rapidly developing low-cost space travel, industrialization of the Moon, space solar power supply, and accessing extra-terrestrial resources from asteroids and cometoids!
There need be no depression if we aim high! If we want our civilization to continue, and to reach a higher ethical level, a new Renaissance is necessary and urgent - a Space Renaissance, the industrial and cultural revolution of our age!
Stock exchanges are burning billions each week, but what are they burning? Only bits of information in bank accounts. Real wealth is not money, but technologies and the potential for work: with 7 billion intelligences, Humanity has never been so rich! The above is clearly evident to all astronautic humanists, but not to our political leaders!
This is a call to the thousands of astronautic humanists, space activists, and all visionaries of a space-faring humanity. We must speak out loudly this time: the G20 should become G21, including a representative of future citizens of orbital and lunar cities and elsewhere in the Solar System! If a nation is defined by a shared ideal, then we are a nation, the Land of the Space Renaissance, and our homeland is currently a region in cyberspace!
But we could hold a major Space Renaissance Forum, one week before the next G20, in April 2009, calling on all existing pro-space organizations and all sincere astro-humanists to join! The aim will be to give a contribute to the solution of the problem, in an open-minded spirit, and not to make useless polemics.
Please show your interest and help this idea: it could make a big difference by bringing this vital new idea to the attention of the public.
Add your signature to this call, here: http://www.tdf.it/SRI/sri-call.htm, thank you!

This call was written by:
Adriano Autino, Patrick Collins, Alberto Cavallo, Michael Martin-Smith, Charles Radley
The promoters organizations group is open and growing.
For the complete list so far, please see the web site http://www.tdf.it/SRI/sri-call.htm
Join the Organizational Committee - info@tdf.it

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Sky - Mirror for Cultures

Friday, January 23rd, the French Cultural Centre in Timisoara hosted the opening of the posters exhibition - "The Sky - Mirror for Cultures". The event, courtesy of the French Association for Astronomy, takes place in the ambit of the International Year of Astronomy. The exhibition can be vsited until February 8th. After Eric Baude, CEO of the Timisoara French Cultural Centre opened the event, the participants were invited to listen to live jazz music, watch "The Old Man, the Desert, and the Meteorite", a documentary by Karel Prokop - and enjoy a "starry cocktail"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The best moment of the Inaugural Parade ...

... was this one (via NASA Watch):

I do not know whose idea it was to include the Lunar Electric Rover in the parade, but President Obama and Michelle seemed indeed impressed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Times (South Africa): Gimme some space

The Times, a South African newspaper, revives (after a rather long absence from the international mass media!) the story of the Lunar Embassy. Albert Buhr takes a precautionary approach: "Be warned, however: buying lunar land on the Internet may be just one small step, but it’s a giant leap into a world of legalistic controversy and downright, well, lunacy. ... Hope’s argument also rests on being the first person to lay claim to the moon. This is not true" .
The South African journalist offers his readers a piece of advice: "But before you start looking at other celestial bodies with an entrepreneurial glint in your eye, first take some legal advice from the self-proclaimed owner of our sun, Professor Virgiliu Pop. A space law expert at the University of Lille in France, Pop publicly claimed ownership of the sun in 2001 to expose what he calls “the phoney extraterrestrial real estate industry”.". And he offers - "Where our moon is concerned, you may well conclude as I have: it belonged to Jenaro Gajardo Vera. After all, as Vergiliu Pop relates, even President Nixon acknowledged Gajardo’s ownership when he sent him a letter in May 1969, prior to the first lunar landing."
Three little corrections - I am no longer in Lille, I am not a Professor, and President Nixon did not acknowledge Gajardo's lunar ownership. As stated in my book, "Unreal Estate", this pertains to the legend.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gazeta de Sud: Cui aparţine Luna?

Delia Patru, from the Romanian newspaper "Gazeta de Sud", writes:
În timp ce agenţiile spaţiale internaţionale caută să îşi trimită cât mai repede un reprezentant pe orbită, un cercetător de la Agenţia Spaţială Română pune în discuţie problema proprietăţii astrului selenar. ... Cu o astfel de aglomeraţie de prezenţe pe Lună, cineva şi-a pus, cum era şi normal, întrebarea cum vor fi împărţite eventualele încasări pe solul selenar. Spre surprinderea tuturor, întrebarea nu a venit de la vreun reprezentant al NASA sau ESA (Agenţia Spaţială Europeană), ci din partea Agenţiei Spaţiale Române. În anul recent încheiat, editura Springer a lansat volumul „Who Owns the Moon? - Extraterrestrial Aspects of Land and Mineral Resources Ownership“, aparţinând lui Virgiliu Pop, specialist în cadrul Agenţiei Spaţiale Române. Tonul abordat este extrem de serios, Pop combătând „Moon Treaty“ din 1979, unde luna este considerată o proprietate comună. De altfel, tratatul nu a fost ratificat de nici una dintre naţiunile cu ambiţii lunare serioase. Specialistul român este convins de necesitatea stabilirii şi pentru Lună a dreptului de proprietate, pentru că „spaţiul este o frontieră care favorizează mai mult individualismul, decât colectivismul, iar astfel de provocări trebuie înfruntate aplicând un regim legal adecvat“. Un pic ca în Far West? Vom trăi şi vom vedea. Între timp, există oameni care cumpără teren selenar de ani buni. Tot ce trebuie să faceţi este să accesaţi site-ul www.lunarembassy.com şi, cu 20 de dolari, puteţi deveni proprietarul unei mici bucăţele din Lună."

All is good, except that you CANNOT become the owner of a lunar plot by "buying" it from the Lunar Embassy.

Dr.dk: Hvem ejer månen?

Mikkel Tofte Jørgensen from DR (formerly Danmarks Radio), Denmark's national broadcasting corporation, interviewed me on the subject of lunar property rights.

Hvem ejer månen?: Priserne for et stykke af månen begynder for tiden på 200 kroner. Og det er penge ud af vinduet. For hvem ejer egentlig Månen? Svaret er tvetydigt, for retten til det ydre rum er rodfæstet i en gammel traktat. Og der er brug for regler for Månen, siger forskere med speciale i det ydre rum.
Medvirkende: Flemming Hansen, teknologichef ved DTU's Institut for Rumforskning- og teknologi og Virgiliu Pop.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Videnskab.dk: Hvem ejer månen?

From videnskab.dk:
Hvem, der egentlig ejer månen, er derfor blevet et mere påtrængende spørgsmål, end nogensinde før. Nu har forskeren og juristen Virgiliu Pop skrevet en bog om denne manglende ejendomsret i det ydre rum. ... Nu hævder forsker og jurist Virgiliu Pop fra det rumænske rumfartscenter (ROSA), at dagens konventioner, som regulerer månen, er yderst begrænsede. Pop er en af verdens førende eksperter i jura i verdensrummet. Pop påpeger, at konventionen ikke tematiserer landrettigheder på månen, og at dette vil blive et problem om en 15 års tid. Pop foreslår en udvikling af ejendomsretten i verdensrummet. Han diskuterer hvorvidt dette bør foregå via de nationale love. Kollektivt ejerskab har han kun begrænset tro på.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Episode 91 of Free Minds TV is dedicated, inter alia (from minute 9:30 to 12:50), to the question "Who owns the Moon", quoting my book:

Free Minds TV is a news commentary television show, turning focus away from the two party system and challenging viewers to 'think ouside the box.' The show premiers on Friday nights at 9pm on Cheshire TV, and is then released to other cable stations across New England. The show is also posted here at Free MindsTV.com and other places across the Internet.