Stephen Hawking. 14th March 2018



You have transcended.  Left for all, the knowledge that is pure of the human endurance.  The light in the darkness, in this life, within the cosmos.  It is eternal.  Such is the human being, unique, fragile.  Strong and weak, brave and fearful.  Our bliss and loss.  To live and to become, to learn and create.  To conquer our fears and to be strong, we overcome what weakens us,  so that we are significant in this Universe, as it is ours to understand.  But never to grasp.   It is when we let go and fall into the oceans of knowledge.  We become one within.  We become fearless.  

As we return to the original state.

To dream.



Adrian Glass



Small to micro satellites lead the new Space-race mixed with unauthorized launches.


(A satellite the size of a showbox.  Image from Bloomberg)

As discussed in my article The soon-to-be commercial ‘Space Race’ may entail that more junk will be sent into Space the launch of a billionaire’s very expensive electric car, that in reality an environmental conscious ‘poor’ people (that is pretty much everyone) may not be able to afford to ween off the barbarism of the Middle East and revel in an environmentalist euphoria in support of  the electric car.  The space car at this point, although it was never intended to hit Mars, in its ad hoc and irresponsible advertising stunt, is on its way to the asteroid belts of our Solar System.  It will be destroyed at some point (via the possible trillions of asteroids in those regions), as the Cosmos in its design,  will attempt to remodel anything of weak design, that may have formed from intelligent life.   A remodeling that eventually turns it into a space debris or better known as “junk”

So, with my critique of childish superficiality of utilizing space as an advertising stunt with what could have been sent into Space (monuments of human endurance) was missed on this occasion.

The new Space race which has begun in gusto not seen since the first superpower space race that occurred within the last cold war over fifty years ago.  In this flux of digital connectivity with its Potemkin villages, the assumption could be viewed at times that all is well.  It’s not.  We have a new cold war which entails that there is also a new nuke arms race erringly similar to to the past.   Space,  that is also considered cold war territory, which in turn has the interests of all the major superpowers to have a dominance over, thus, with SpaceX leading the charge in its ability to deliver anything into outer space, more so to our very crowded lower and upper atmospheres.  Private Space companies will also offer the service, this may extend to security contract firms who are developing smaller and more advanced communication satellites.  A space race to build Space-internet networks, that could, say in a major conflict on Earth, be the last bastion of communication and global positioning systems.

Except, as noted in my previous article.  This will lead to a further deregulation of the Space industry, that will lead to increases in the amount of unauthorized launches into space of various communication satellites from private companies.

From the Register article 9th March 2018

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has pulled permission from Silicon Valley startup Swarm Technologies to launch four satellites into space after what it says was an “apparent unauthorized launch” back in January.

According to IEEE Spectrum, that unauthorized launch consisted of four experimental satellites that the FCC had decided were too small to be noticed in space – and hence pose an unacceptable risk of collision – but which the company may have launched anyway, using a rocket based in India.

The federal regulator has sent a stern letter [PDF] to Swarm withdrawing its permission to launch four new, larger version of its “SpaceBee” satellites while it looks into events.

“The grant for STA 0026‐EX‐ST‐2018 has been set aside and is now in a pending status for further review,” an email from the head of the FCC’s Experimental Licensing Branch, Anthony Serafini, to Swarm’s owners reads. “The International Bureau requested that the grant be set aside in order to permit assessment of the impact of the applicant’s apparent unauthorized launch and operation of four satellites, and related statements and representations, on its qualifications to be a Commission licensee. “

The launch under scrutiny carried a range of satellites but while Indian space agency ISRO lists all those satellites and their owners, the four “two-way satellite communications and data relay” devices in question are anonymous.


…The idea behind the mini-satellites – which the company proudly calls “the world’s smallest two-way communications satellites” – is to create an internet-of-things network in outer space.

Swarm envisions many, smaller and cheaper satellites circling the globe and providing tracking for billions of devices on the ground. The National Science Foundation has even given the company grants to pursue its plans.

The company is run by people with an impressive track record of space-related engineering, and, according to the space biz, several very large corporations and the US military have expressed an interest.

The soon-to-be commercial ‘Space Race’ may entail that more junk will be sent into Space.


In my article (Feb 8th 2018) “Is the ‘new’ Space Race and exploration now becoming an Absurdity”  it was referenced, as a point of view, that the newly manifested Space race may eventuate into an absurd situation as the all out commercialization of space begins in earnest – after the successful launch of the Falcon heavy launch rocket, but more so Elon Musk’s promotional stunt in sending a $200,000 electrical car into space.   With fears emerging from astrobiologists and other scientists that the Tesla ‘Starman’ car is riddled with Earth bacteria, please also refer to my May 16 2017 article  “Planetary Protection” Advocacy groups may cause more damage than good.”  These fears may also be overblown, with most planets in our Solar System hostile to all life including bacterial, particularly Mars (unless buried deep into the crust of the planet) due to extreme Ultraviolet radiation.   It is more concerning of the complete deregulation of private space programs which maybe in the line of sight for the Trump administration, to open up space as a broad private enterprise, which will remove aspects of specific regulation for space exploration, that in turn may lead to more reckless aspects within the private space programs.  This maybe the first step in the eventual funding cuts to not only NASA but the International Space Station.  The fears of Earth borne bacterial contamination to other planets, in my opinion, is not high on the list of space exploration concerns.

So, the recklessness of ‘companies’ all lining up to be part of the new Space race means more junk littered around the Earth, which will remain a threatening aspect to space programs and future exploration within our Solar System.

From the BBC Feb 2018  article re: Space Rubbish

In early February 2018 in Vienna, during the United Nations’ 55th Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Liou presented an update on the space debris environment and the US space agency’s operations and research. In 2017 alone, 86 launches around the world placed more than 400 spacecraft into orbit around the Earth.

The total amount of material in Earth orbit is more than 7,600 tonnes,” Liou says. “About 23,000 large objects are being tracked by the US Strategic Command’s Space Surveillance Network (SSN). In addition, there are tens of millions or more debris too small to be tracked by the SSN but still large enough to threaten human spaceflight and robotic missions…

Also from the same article

“…The amount of debris escalated sharply in 2007 when China deliberately destroyed its Fengyun-1C weather satellite as part of an anti-satellite device test. Two years later an American Iridium 33 communications satellite collided with a spent Russian Cosmos 2251 spacecraft. Both these incidents will have ramifications for some time.

Last year, Nasa was involved in 21 collision avoidance manoeuvres by uncrewed spacecraft. Four were to avoid debris from Fengyun-1C; two to avoid parts from the Iridium 33-Cosmos 2251 collision.

Moving an object out of the way by altering its orbit is one method of diverting a potential crash, but the sheer amount of debris requires constant observation and prediction – by any means necessary.

“Nasa uses a combination of radars, telescopes, and in-situ measurements to monitor, but not track, objects down to sub-millimetre in size,” says Liou.”


Is the ‘new’ Space Race and exploration now becoming an Absurdity?


(“The Cenotaphs of human conquest (Adrian Glass 2016) 12×17 Framed enhanced photographic image printed Ilford Gold Fibre Silk – 310gsm.)


This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart.”   Albert Camus


In recent light of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy lift rocket transporting an Elon Musk Tesla electrical car into space as a strange temperament within the ego sphere of the famed billionaire, that in all its retrospect is a bizarre way of testing the payload capsule of the Falcon rocket.  As the car itself is affixed with a dummy pilot, outfitted in a SpaceX mock spacesuit as it sits motionless holding onto the car’s steering wheel whilst spinning in an wayward trajectory, after being boosted by the Falcon’s main rocket, towards the asteroid belts of Mars and Jupiter.  Avoiding Mars as the intended crash site for Elon Musk’s publicity stunt (so much for ‘Planetary Protection’ protocols), the interplanetary Space race has essentially begun, as most public and private Space companies will now aim, with others not so far behind SpaceX, to develop more powerful and larger rockets which in turn will further increase payload and transport routes.  But, as decreed by media hyped enthusiasts via social media, we are a long way off in mining the asteroid belts that encircle the Earth.  As Science fiction writers, like myself, have played and used the ideas of off-world mining industries as future ventures.  From my perspective this will be a solely robotic enterprise from start to finish.   At the ire of Musk’s dislike or paranoia that artificial intelligence will be the detriment of humanity.  As Space is an extremely hostile environment  to organic life,  in someways a viewpoint that Space exploration Programs, such as SpaceX have not considered as the main hurdle for human exploration into the Solar System.  And by most analyst reports, more so from NASA on a human mission to Mars, it maybe unlikely in the near future.

The Absurdity of  SpaceX launching a car into Space, with the industrialist owner of Tesla claiming that it will orbit the sun for millions of years, is almost pitiful in its overall sentiment of exploring Space as a human achievement, with the inscribed message for Extraterrestrial Life “Made on Earth by humans” imprinted onto the car’s circuit board.   One should not see this as childlike and wondrous in its imagination of the Cosmos, this, as an absurd stunt only cheapens the wonder of the Universe, so it should be seen as immaturity defined.   The car will be destroyed within a year of orbiting the Sun, either by solar radiation destroying its key monocular structure or it slamming into one of multitude of micro-meteors to small/medium size asteroids with circle ominously around the Sun.

The Universe does not care about the egos of Billionaires and/or our overall desire for human exploitation into Space.  In fact the Universe, the Cosmos, does not care if we exist or perish tomorrow.  It holds no value on human life by any consideration.  Our endurance and survival depends on a state of mind within the Universe.  In the sense, we should endure the possibility that we may be alone, sans our imagination, and survival, that we live only within this present point in time.  On the Earth, our home.  In which we should protect from internal and external threats.

If we are to send artifacts into Space, not cars or fake stars, but reminders of those aspects of human endurance and survival.  Then we should urge these Space programs that wish to embark on testing larger rocket systems.  To send an iconic fixture or artifact into the Cosmos of the human race which embraces our strengths.  Not weakness.


Adrian Glass

(Adrian Glass is an author and artist, his last three books can been seen on Amazon: (Voids of the Elysium, SATRAN KAEVON, CATACLYSMAL )




Oumuamua “The messenger…”


As discussed in my  October 27, 2017 post  “Asteroid” A/2017 U1. The first detected interstellar object to enter our Solar System. Could it be an alien probe?” and then further with these two posts “A/2017 U1 the interstellar visitor now named: Oumuamua “The messenger…” and “The Breakthrough Listen will scan “Oumuamua”. The unusual interstellar ‘asteroid’ – to see if is an alien probe.”   The mysterious interstellar object now known as Oumuamua (Hawaiian named) “The messenger from afar arriving first”.  Initial scans using the Greenbank telescope via The Breakthrough Listen project has not revealed any alien technology and/or ETI communication.  Complete scans and papers will be due in 2018.  So, despite the belief that this could have been an alien probe, it was tantalizing  to assume that within its strange shape (elongated with an updated visual description that it is in similar size and shape to this London building),   the bizarre and never before seen trajectory that was neither bound by the gravitation of our Sun or other planets within the Solar System.   Nor did this object show any signs of traditional comet and asteroid dynamics.  It is truly an alien object in the sense that it is a foreign natural object, that has never been witnessed before – in any comparable reference to the abundance of asteroids, comets that move around or tiny corner of the Milky Way.   Oumuamua may remain a mystery.

However, the reclassification continues with astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast adding a new assumption that Oumuamua is a Planetesimal.

Regardless of the observations and further analysis to discover the  interstellar object’s natural origins, before it disappears from our Solar System.  It is the science fiction writers like myself that will continue to ponder the possibility that Oumuamua is long extinct (lifeless) alien tech, a fossilized relic moving through Space and time.



Led by astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast, the team from the US, the UK, Canada, Taiwan and Chile used spectroscopy to analyse the way ‘Oumuamua reflects sunlight – its albedo – and found it similar to icy minor planets in the outer Solar System with a dry crust wrapped around an icy core.

“…We have also found that a half-metre thick coating of organic-rich material could have protected a water-ice-rich comet-like interior from vapourising when the object was heated by the sun, even though it was heated to over 300 degrees centigrade.

Abstract below is from a collaborative paper on Alan Fitzsimmons findings    “Spectroscopy and thermal modeling of the first interstellar object 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua

“During the formation and evolution of the Solar System, significant numbers of cometary and asteroidal bodies were ejected into interstellar space1,2. It is reasonable to expect that the same happened for planetary systems other than our own. Detection of such interstellar objects would allow us to probe the planetesimal formation processes around other stars, possibly together with the effects of long-term exposure to the interstellar medium. 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua is the first known interstellar object, discovered by the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in October 2017 (ref. 3). The discovery epoch photometry implies a highly elongated body with radii of ~ 200 × 20 m when a comet-like geometric albedo of 0.04 is assumed. The observable interstellar object population is expected to be dominated by comet-like bodies in agreement with our spectra, yet the reported inactivity of ‘Oumuamua implies a lack of surface ice. Here, we report spectroscopic characterization of ‘Oumuamua, finding it to be variable with time but similar to organically rich surfaces found in the outer Solar System. We show that this is consistent with predictions of an insulating mantle produced by long-term cosmic ray exposure4. An internal icy composition cannot therefore be ruled out by the lack of activity, even though ‘Oumuamua passed within 0.25 au of the Sun

The Breakthrough Listen will scan “Oumuamua”. The unusual interstellar ‘asteroid’ – to see if is an alien probe.


As discussed in  the October  27th 2017 post “Meteorite” A/2017 U1. The first detected interstellar object to enter our Solar System. Could it be an alien probe?   The object now known  as Oumuamua, which was first thought of as a comet, was then later redefined as a odd ‘cigar’ shaped asteroid.   The ‘Breakthrough Listen’ project (which is part of SETI) will now scan the strange object within the 1-12 GHz range starting on the 13th Dec 2017 using the Green Bank telescope in West Virgina, America.


“Alien-hunting scientists are lending a (telescopic) ear to ‘Oumuamua, a mysterious object recently spotted speeding through the solar system. ‘Oumuamua, first detected in October with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, is the first likely visitor from interstellar space to ever be spotted in Earth’s solar system…”

Scientists have been intrigued by the reddish, elongated object because of its long and thin shape, which is unlike the asteroids and comets researchers have seen that are native to the solar system…Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape [like ‘Oumuamua exhibits] is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft, since this would minimize friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust,” Breakthrough Listen representatives said in the statement. “While a natural origin is more likely, there is currently no consensus on what that origin might have been, and Breakthrough Listen is well positioned to explore the possibility that ‘Oumuamua could be an artifact.

…At the object’s current distance from Earth, it would take less than a minute for the telescope to detect a transmission with the power of a cellphone’s, Breakthrough Listen representatives said. Even without a signal, the telescope’s radio inspection could reveal additional information about water or ice on the object, or a coma of gas surrounding it, neither of which have yet been spotted...”