Back in September, a little hiccup that is now helping to formulate space policy almost went unnoticed. One hundred days ago, some gold stars were released to circle the earth...and another spacecraft. Just one day after launch, Shenzhou-7's orbital module released a small satellite, Chinese flag and all, which has now accomplished its primary mission.
We say almost unnoticed, but for the Protectors of the Free and the Brave. They have been monitoring the small free-flyer circle its mothership, almost as if it were prey. It does not take much imagination to replace the mothership, adorned with the same gold stars, with a spacecraft carrying quite different looking flags.
Nor does it take much imagination to imagine the Protectors concern for "what could be." In this case, history is repeating itself. The thought of a hammer and sickle on the moon scared people many years ago. Little satellites circling big satellites scares some people. Gold stars on the moon scare some people today even more. This is not speculation virally spurred on by some Bloomberg writer. This is the fire behind the smoke.
The Protectors also know, with some experience, a bad program development when they see it. They do not believe the Emperor capable of leading the minions to take the grey beachhead before chicken beaks start hanging in the new storefront at Tranquility Base. Those with wings for lapel pins already have the tools in the inventory and the know how to get the job done.
After all, the Protectors started us on the way to the beachhead 50 years ago before the civilians knew how to do it on their own. And soon, they will be getting ready to do it again.