On September 24, Bruce Gagnon and I gave a talk at Maine’s big Common Ground Fair on the proposal to build a rocket launch site off the coast of Maine at Steuben. Bruce coordinates an international organization paying attention to the militarization of space for the last several decades, the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, and understands the context for the proposal to build a rocket launch site near Acadia National Park.
Although our 9am talk was sparsely attended we got none other than Sascha Deri himself, CEO of bluShift Aerospace, who interrupted me to claim that I was sharing false information. Having taught high school for years, I did not allow Deri to derail my presentation; but he and others in the audience participated in a lively Q & A session after my remarks. (Video of the entire presentation including the disruption is being processed and will be available later this week.)
Deri’s most amazing revelation in response to Gagnon’s question about his funding sources: bluShift Aerospace has taken money from the U.S. Space Force! Remember that the next time you see or hear claims that a rocket launch site in Maine would only be used for research and educational purposes, not for military payloads.
We hung our banners on the outside of the Social & Political Action tents at the invitation of a fair official, and then did some more outreach work with organizations like Dark Sky, WERU, and Community Water Justice.
The following day Donovan Lynch of NewsCenterMaine called me for an interview about opposition to the plan to launch 30+ rockets each summer off the coast of Steuben, rockets that are as tall as a mature White Pine. He also interviewed Deri and Steuben-based seaweed harvester Larch Hanson about environmental concerns: “Downeast rocket launch site promises industry boom, worrying environmentalists.”
Included in his report was the news that bluShift is seeking FAA approval, and a prediction that two years from now rocket launches might commence.
Who are you inclined to believe about probable environmental harms of the launch site project: the CEO looking to make millions, environmentalists who live in Maine, or Gagnon with extensive knowledge of the effects of rocket launch sites all over the planet?
You can read Bruce Gagnon’s blog post about our talk at the fair here.
For more information and to sign up for updates, visit our website NoToxicRockets4ME.org.
*To order one of the cool “Don’t take the peace out of space” hoodies we’re wearing in the photo at the top, visit: Global Network’s store at Bonfire.com. Kudos to the British GN team for this awesome design!