Monday, February 01, 2010

Astronaut Theology: Beyonce Rising, or Isis in Chains

Let's backtrack to the announcement Barack Obama (or Barackobamun, if you prefer) made on the 42nd Anniversary of Gus Grissom's death:
CAPE CANAVERAL — President Barack Obama will ask Congress to extend International Space Station operations through at least 2020 but abandon NASA's current plans to return U.S. astronauts to the moon, administration and NASA officials said Wednesday.
This in effect extends the reign of ISiS, but scuttles the Constellation program (which NASA quite tragically just released a promotional video for) one which seems to have become its epitaph. The obvious reason for all of this could be the economy (which certainly isn't hurting the ballooning defense budget), but the timing of the announcement still raises my antennae. 

 If we needed a smoking gun of Obama's (alleged) obsession with the martyred Masonic spaceman, we couldn't do much better than that. But the end of the Constellation program and the possible demise of the Ares rocket doesn't necessarily mean that the Orion capsule will be mothballed. 

Don't forget that Elon 'PayPal' Musk's SpaceX is developing some very snazzy rocketry, which spacewatchers claim kicks Ares' ass up and down the Martian canals. And look at the semiotics from this NASA forum:
Could Falcon-9 Heavy launch Orion? The payload fairing is 17 feet in diameter.
The Falcon 9 payload fairing is 17 ft in diameter? Now they're just f-ing with my head. And the 'Falcon' launching 'Orion' into outer space? Where have I heard that one before? 

Oh yeah...

Space junkies took heart in Obama's nod to programs like the Falcon 9, overlooking the very real possibility (at least in my fevered imaginings) that Obama is carrying out the final revenge against the hated NASA for the murder of his (alleged) childhood hero

Perhaps somewhere in Masonic heaven, St. Virgil is smiling down on all of this humiliation of his oppressors:
The reports suggest the Obama administration intends to move toward relying on commercially-built spacecraft, rather than NASA's own vehicles, to carry humans to low-Earth orbit. The plan would also involve extending the International Space Station's lifetime and abandoning current plans to send astronauts on moon missions by 2020.
Now remember- Grissom was a relentless critic of NASA rocket engineering, which he considered to be unsafe and unsound. And he was repaid for his trouble by a relentless smear campaign that continued long after his death. But enough of that- Orion may be dead, but he may be revived by the Falcon (9, no less). So is ISiS now the "widow" of Orion? 

And does this tie back into the theories made by some in the exopolitical community that we've been "warned off" of the Moon? Where could we look for clues of this admittedly-extreme possibility?

  How about the ISiS mission patch? Here we see the space station in low orbit around Earth and surrounded by a chain made of silver and gold links. Outside of the chain is the laurel wreath, most commonly associated with Apollo, who gave his name to the Moon missions of the Sixties and Seventies. Now, we know that these patches are deeply symbolic, and go through a long review process before they are chosen. 

So what do those chains symbolize? Do they somehow connect to the possibility raised by the scuttling of Constellation that the dream of manned space flight is a thing of the past? A secret admission of the inhibiting power of the Van Allen Belt? Or do they speak to something deeper and weirder, perhaps speaking to humankind being bound to the Earth by external dictat?

I obviously can't answer any of that, but I can simply point out this fascinating coincidence: Beyonce Knowles, who was the big winner at the Grammy's* (which took place a few days after Obama extended the reign of ISiS) wore a lovely dress while accepting her record number of awards... ...made of silver and gold chain links. 

UPDATE: Reader Patrick offers that the "Chain of Union" is an important Masonic symbol. From the California Masonic Lodges site:
The Chain of Union is, without a doubt, one of the most significant parts of all Masonic Rituals and actual symbols, which, decorate the Masonic Lodge. This “chain”, is actually a rope, which, circumvests the inner walls of the Masonic Temple in its upper part. Its “elevated location” gives it a celestial connotation, confirmed by the twelve knots that appear at intervals all along said rope, and, which, symbolize the twelve signs of the zodiac.
The author goes on to connect the chain not only to the tracing boards (and hence to the Stairway to Sirius) but also to a dizzying array of metaphysical and occult concepts:
...From a metaphysical point of view, the Masonic Chain of Union comes to signify exactly the same as “the chain of the worlds”: a symbol that synthesizes the conjunction of all states, beings and worlds, which, conform the Universal Manifestation, and coexist joined by the “Thread of Atma” (Sutratma), or, in simpler terms, through their “Breath” or “Vivifier Spirit”.
How about that? Then this:
The Chain of Union, thus, becomes a magical and sacred circle where a cosmic and theurgical force concentrates and flows through every “chained man” - in this way permitting them to be part of the True Masonic Spirit and partake of the same salubrious and regenerating energy.
Wow - there may be even more to this story than I thought. Though I must point out that the ISS chain doesn't exactly match the description laid out in the article, and that any good symbol has more than one meaning... 

UPDATE: SHOCKER! Is James Cameron part of the Grissom cult too? GENIUS insight from reader David Stewart:
So is Grissom reaching out to this year as well? Chris you seem to be making the case that in some way he is, If we back up a week or so to your postings about the the movie AVATAR, I might point out that the reverse spelling of Grisson's middle name Ivan, is Na'vi - sure that seems a stretch, but the connection is not just bye the bye; check out the alternate name of the star Epsilon Cassiopeiae, a star that apparently Gus had used to set his flight charts by. Is there something in Avatar we are supposed to pay more attention to?
From Wiki: One of the NASA designations for this star is Navi, in honor of astronaut Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, one of the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 accident. Don't forget that Star Trek III was a thinly-veiled Grissom tribute, the original male lead on CSI is named in his honor and that an episode of the now-canceled NBC program Life featured a Grissom-type storyline in the first episode of Obama's presidency. 

Interesting sync: Mark Rolston played Grissom in From the Earth to the Moon and was also a feature player in Cameron's Aliens as well as major figure in the X-Files Mytharc.

ANSWER: YES. Ed Harris' character in The Abyss? Virgil 'Bud' Brigman. There's also a Coffey (Chaffee) and Wilhite (White) in the film. Unbelievable. The Abyss and the Sirius connection here

*Note also the emerging scifi meme on display at the Grammy's with Pink's Fifth Element tribute, the Black Eyed Peas robotic chorus line and Lady GorGon's Ziggy Stardust outfits. See also the "Astral Annointing of Taylor Swift."