Have been following some of the discussions around on the subject of “Deep Impact“, NASA’s mission to collide a probe with Comet Tempel 1 which blasted a hole in the comet on July 4th. And the lawsuit being brought by a Russian astrologer who is suing NASA for the same amount as the cost of the mission, claiming they may have endangered the future of civilisation.
Most commentators seem to reckon the Russian woman to be opportunist in the extreme, or just plain nuts. She may be, depending on what criteria you judge her by, but it’s fascinating to contemplate the nature of what this reflects on the mission. Events have a way of sprouting mirrors of themselves – sympathetic resonance in operation – and this is an interesting one. So on the principal that all viewpoints hold a fragment of the truth, what does this one say?
That the mission is nuts, opportunistic, attempting to appropriate resources for no real good or justifiable reason, shallow, ignorant, hasn’t a clue about how things work in the “real” world, etc …? Possibly.
There is a kind of Pandora’s Box feeling about all this. (Images of Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark as the entities released from the Ark zoom about frazzling every Nazi in sight.) And a deep discomfort with the word “deep” in Deep Impact. It seems almost seedy – makes me think of “Deep Throat” – and there’s a sort of seediness about the Russian astrologer too.
Which is interesting, because part of the expressed purpose of the mission was to liberate material from the comet’s core. As NASA puts it, “Comets are time capsules that hold clues about the formation and evolution of the solar system. They are composed of ice, gas and dust, primitive debris from the solar system’s distant and coldest regions that formed 4.5 billion years ago.” So could the mission have effectively re-seeded our solar system with energies that have remained encapsulated in this comet since the origins of the solar system? The comet’s name – Tempel 1 – seems rather fortuitously appropriate.
Then there’s the appearance of this crop circle at East Field, Alton Priors, the day before impact.
It’s 8 main points have led some people to connect it to the G8 summit, but somehow that doesn’t seem so pertinent, or at least, only peripherally. To me it says “star”, “explosion”, “compass”, “blueprint”, “technology”. There’s also hints of the Celtic cross and the geometrical forms of American Indian art. As with many of this season’s circles, and last year’s too, there’s much debate about its “genuine”ness. Yet works of art, which these circles surely are, have a way of resonating with issues way beyond whatever their creators had in mind, whoever they might be. It’s just what we see in the mirror.
So perhaps man’s deliberate head-on collision with the temple containing the blueprint of the solar system will have some interesting effects. Deep Impact indeed. No bad thing for the entirety of existence. Possibly not such a good thing for mankind, given our present attitudes and behaviour (cue G8). Perhaps the Russian astrologer has a point after all.