The US has claimed "dibs" on the Universe with its new space policy. The document, signed by President Bush, was released on a Friday, just before a long weekend in the States. This, in itself has caused a bit of a stir, but not more so than the tone and content of the document.
In it, the US government allocates itself rights to access and use space without anyone else getting in its way. It also sets security at the heart of the space agenda, frequently citing its right to use space as part of its national defence.
[.."The United States is committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humanity. Consistent with this principle, 'peaceful purposes' allow US defence and intelligence-related activities in pursuit of national interests."
In other words: "Everyone has to use space peacefully, except us. We can do what we like, cos we were here first[..]. And anyway, if you try to stop us, it won't stay peaceful for long, which would spoil the first part of our principle." Read on...
Wow. Colonialism AND imperialism over space. He now wants to be The Decider of the Universe. The final frontier, indeed.