Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Space, now and then

Space... the final frontier... yada, yada.

I'm making some notes for one of two books I'm thinking of writing. The second one is about a woman who can see past lives and, since she works for the Justice Department, decides whether a murder was revenge for one in a previous life.

But the first... a group of astronauts (ours) are intercepted by aliens who give warning of another species stripping the populace of their futures - it's a life force thing. One species have human elements; the other does not. Who are the bad guys?

Anyway, with Discovery blasting off and space junk causing problems (why don't they clean it up? Jeez, isn't it enough we pollute our own planet, now we're littering space?), the interest in space is rising again.

But I'm wondering: do astronauts have weapons?

I know, I know. Idealogues would say 'space isn't for conflict; it's for friendship', and that's nice for them. The reality? I don't know. I can think of many reasons why they should bear arms - landing in unfriendly waters, for one. I can also think of reasons why they shouldn't - and I don't suppose a bullet through the shell of the ISS is a good thing.

Are weapons a part of military survival kits? Of any spacefaring nation? Is there even a protocol for astronauts if someone from outside the Solar System drops in for a cuppa?

And the big question: how do I find out? Anyone?

Maybe I'll let it simmer and work on the more terrestrial story. I mean, how hard can revisiting past lives be?

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