When President Trump first mentioned the creation of a new branch of the military, the Space Force, in March of last year, many quickly labeled it ridiculous. Obviously, they were unaware of the existence of the Air Force Space Command which already oversees much of the country's defense assets in space. Last Tuesday, President Trump signed a directive requiring the secretary of defense to establish a separate branch within the United States military, the Space Force.
We need a new separate branch of the military for space to combat the rising security threats in space. If you take only consider how we engage military campaigns, you realize we are extremely dependent on space.
Disruptions due to attacks on our satellite network would cripple us, not just abroad, but here at home and it only makes sense to have a dedicated branch of the military.
The Air Force has always been about air dominance. Today, ninety percent of our national security space assets are in the Air Force, and because space is so vital, we need to have a service that’s dedicated to space dominance. We need a new service that has their own identity, their own budget and their own command.
President Ronald Reagan had it right back in 1983 with the Strategic Defense Initiative System, what we all know as “Star Wars.”
It was a proposal that included a space-based satellite system that could shoot down incoming Soviet missiles or used as a defense today against satellites with offensive capabilities.
Russia has long had its own distinct branch of military for space and China created their own separate space branch over a year ago. Even if we have the Space Force up by 2020 as planned, we have some catching up to do.
The Russians and the Chinese have become much more aggressive by developing anti-satellite weapons, as well working on ways to simply shut down satellites. Both Russia and China have developed satellites that can shoot or dazzle (which basically paralyzes) our satellites. You can only imagine what the classified stuff can do.
During a speech at the Pentagon, Vice President Mike Pence outlined the initial actions needed in the creation of the Space Force:
On May 25, 1961 John F Kennedy issued a proclamation during a special joint session of Congress in which he intended to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Shortly after, a man named Gene Roddenberry conceived Star Trek. You all know that franchise, it’s still going strong. But how is this even related to President Trump’s Space Force?
Space and the stars, they have always called out to us and influenced our lives, it’s the unknown, the adventure and it’s the possibilities. Even as the Space Race ended, the possibilities kept presenting themselves.
Television shows about space fueled generations of scientists, and movies like Star Wars, propelled young minds into science.
Ask someone who works at NASA or does research at CERN, what inspired them? Most will tell you science fiction, Star Wars or Star Trek. It’s not a coincidence so much of our technology today resembles technology from television. Because a hypospray is supposed to look like a hypospray, duh!
The universe is no longer the barren wasteland it was once believed to be. Water is abundant in the universe. Resources and energy are everywhere, they are so much closer than they were ten years ago, and new medical treatments and breakthroughs are waiting to be discovered.
Even as the Space Force is just in the planning stages, Steve Carell and creator of 'The Office', Greg Daniels, are teaming up again for a Netflix comedy based on the Space Force.
Art imitates life and I’m willing to bet this show is just the first and hopefully as the science behind the Space Force makes it way into popular culture others like the great Gene Roddenberry will come forward. Not just for good programming and for an escape, but to fuel the fantasy that ultimately opens one’s mind to the unlimited possibilities afforded by science and the rewards of collaboration and cooperation
The need the Space Force isn’t limited to national security or technology, it’s also needed to stimulate the imagination.
Space is big, scary, dangerous. We will not only need to create new technologies to survive it, but we will also need to remember our place in it. Just like the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 we can’t do it alone.
Allan Giberti is the host of RI Red Radio on 990WBOB.com. You can listen to Allan live on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm.
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