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So Pence’s speech to the National Space Council the other week, and all his talk of returning to the moon, and maybe venturing out to Mars, just conjured images not of shuttles and spacecraft blasting off to the grand adventure of the unknown, but of a moon base festooned with weapons systems, the legacy of the Strategic Defense Initiative. And I wondered if the heavenly bodies that so mystified and enticed scientists of old, one eye affixed to a telescope, would become the next commodity of real estate.

For that matter, why not build a casino so that the flashing neon of opulence could be seen during the orbital track? Behold the harvest moon, beguiling in its orange… and red, and purple. Or let’s be more practical and make the moon a place to stow our ever-increasing waste - a landfill in every crater.

All this seemingly optimistic talk, this gung-ho attitude to return to the stars, could very well be, with the scars wrought by this administration, the foundation of our dark future - dystopian, apocalyptic, and wherein space exploration takes a backseat to Satellite surveillance.