Space may be the final frontier, but don’t expect space tumbleweeds and whistling winds; it’s busy up there. Even on a slow day, the skies above our head are buzzing with thousands of objects, from space junk to satellites and manned craft. This weekend though, something happened that was a little unusual – even for the LA freeway of a region that is the space around our planet. So what happened up there? And why is Elon Musk ominously predicting doom and gloom on his company’s first Mars expedition? CELEB is taking a look at what the heck on earth – or off – is happening in space.
A UFO Does a Flyby
First and most importantly, some big news has been released that will have UFO conspiracy theorists everywhere pounding tables and saying, “I told you so!” It appears that an object being tracked near a SpaceX manned craft was in fact a UFO. So what happened, and what does it mean – are we alone out there?!
On Friday, the SpaceX Dragon Endeavor rocket launched seemingly without incident. All was going well and the four man crew – comprised of two NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and a French engineer – was feeling good about their flight towards the International Space Station.
However, soon the US Space Command sent an ominous warning: a UFO had been spotted near the craft and they were recommending the crew don their pressure suits out of an abundance of caution. Normally, the suits would be donned if a breach in the rocket’s shell was likely, or if they would be expected to evacuate. While the object passed no nearer than 28 miles to the craft, it was a nerve wracking trip as the crew continued their path towards the ISS, eventually docking successfully.
So what was the object? When the government terms something a UFO – an Unidentified Flying Object – they mean just that. It’s an object that appears to be in independent flight and it’s unidentified. While historically UFOs have been linked to aliens and conspiracy theories, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the object was related to any alien activity. The object may well be extraterrestrial, that is to say something that did not originate from our planet. It may be a rock knocked loose from another heavenly body, or an untracked piece of space junk. The skies around our planet are full of space junk – stuff captured by the planet’s gravity while passing by, or left behind by space missions launched from Earth. But NASA generally tries to keep an idea of where that space junk is in relation to their craft and satellites to avoid any collisions, so the fact that this object was considered to be a UFO suggests that it was not something they expected or have tracked before.
Could it be aliens? Sure. It could also be a rock. Unfortunately, we may have a long wait to find out which if ever.
Speaking of UFOs…
But just because the object harrying the Dragon crew is a mystery for now, doesn’t mean there isn’t a revelation to be had. Two weeks ago, Pentagon officials made the unprecedented move of confirming that UAP – Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon – are in fact real by confirming video taken by a Navy pilot included a UAP buzzing a ship. The video was leaked to filmmaker Jeremy Corbell.
The Independent reports, “A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that the photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel and the UAP Task Force has ‘included these incidents in their ongoing examinations.’
This comes just a week after Admiral Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, said he had no idea where the drones that chased US destroyers originated.
The Pentagon announced last year the establishment of the UAP Task Force to ‘improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs.’ The mission of the task force ‘is to detect, analyse and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to US national security.’
A report by the task force is expected to be released by June.”
Meanwhile, Tesla creator Elon Musk is making waves in the headlines as usual. One of the biggest headlines has been the announcement that Musk will be hosting SNL. The backlash on Twitter was immediate, with some users offended at Musk’s choice and others just bored by it. SNL, however, has a history of controversial hosts and at a time when viewership might be dipping due to their favorite subject former President Donald Trump‘s exit from politics, the show may be drumming up interest by any means necessary. Musk, for his part, plans to take advantage of the position to stir some trouble, as he is often known to do. Musk tweeted, “Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live is” with a purple devil emoji. Oh boy.
But Musk’s SNL spot isn’t the only news he’s made. Musk, whose company is in the process of planning a manned expedition to Mars, took a break from stirring controversy to stir some unease instead. In a recent interview, the billionaire SpaceX owner with a love for stirring the pot was doomsaying, warning that many people would likely die on the first Mars expedition, suggesting it was a one-way trip for most. It’s not for rich people, according to Musk; this one’s for the foot soldiers.
MSN shares, “He continued: ‘You might die… and you probably won’t have good food and all these things. It’s an arduous and dangerous journey where you may not come back alive, but it’s a glorious adventure. Sounds appealing. Mars is the place. That’s the ad, that’s the ad for Mars.'”
You’ll get to set foot on Mars but we expect you to die and consider it an acceptable price. Uh, sign us up? Plenty of applications continue to roll in for the upcoming expedition, but it’s likely that the scientists flagshipping this effort wish Musk would have saved the dire predictions for the NDA-covered liability releases. It’ll be hard to get the public hyped to support a project they expect to see result in the deaths of dozens, but hey – Musk isn’t deterred. SpaceX plans to have humans on Mars by 2026.
If creepy UFOs shadowing astronauts and Musk’s doom-and-gloom is somehow inspiring you to hitch up your mission coveralls and blast for the stars, never fear; the world’s first space hotel is opening soon. You won’t be able to wave at Musk’s doomed explorers as they zip by though, unfortunately; it isn’t expected to open until 2027. Maybe you can bid adieu to the next, less doomed expedition.