President John F. Kennedy set the tone of the fledgling U.S. space effort over two decades ago: “For the eyes of the world now look into space, to
the Moon, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of peace and freedom. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding”.
On March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan offered a new vision of the potential of space. Where John Kennedy challenged Americans to put a man on the Moon, Ronald Reagan challenged them to produce a new futuristic missile defence system. Apparently, the optimism and good will which engendered the early space program have given way to a determination to exploit space for military advantage.
Canada will be drawn into their ill-advised enterprise through the NORAD agreement (North American Aerospace Defence), to which we are now deeply committed through the Defense Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA) — how else could we restore the balance other than by purchasing $7 billion worth of CF18 Fighters? It is a measure of our naivety that the Canada Space-Arm was proudly donated as a feature of the U.S. Space Shuttle without apparently any reservations about its likely employment in military missions.
Science for Peace strongly supports Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s call for a ban on high-altitude ASAT weapons, which has been revitalised as an important element of the Peace Initiative. Science for Peace believes that Canada should promote the stabilising monitoring satellite (ISMA: International Satellite Monitoring Agency) rather than the destabilising anti-satellite weapon. (EF)
ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)