The Space Force idea is not something new. It’s existed before in fact but was dissolved not more than a decade ago.
Back in 2018, President Donald Trump announced his plans to establish a new war-fighting branch of the military that he called “Space-Force.” He stated that the Space Force would protect American interests in Space. Honestly, it was a cute idea, to say the least. We all sort of collectively chuckled and wrote it off. However, Donald Trumps ‘Space Force’ is now becoming a Newsworthy thing again.
Last week he announced his plans to, once again, establish a U.S. Space Command. The whole affair seemed pretty legit. I mean, he made the announcement formally with a little ceremony on the White House lawn. As I said, it was cute.
According to President Trump, Space will be the next “war-fighting domain.” Space command, however, is just the beginning. The project starts out by drawing together a variety of different ‘space-related’ faculties which already exist in the different branches of the military: Airforce, Army, Navy, Marines & Coast Guard. Eventually, as time moves on, all these various tasks would coalesce into one supreme sector. Space Force will be that new branch of the military.
It’s going to take time though. Congress now has the ball on this one. Soon they’ll begin discussing the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Trump has been fervently trying to convince them to give the Pentagon Legal Authorization to get this thing going.
What the heck is Trumps Space Force?
Out of the gates, it seemed that the Trump administration was going to be slashing and burning the space program.
The administration has had a bad record of cutting funds for space exploration, to begin with. Wide-Field Infrared Telescope (WFIRST) was sent to the junk heap. It was a $3.2 billion dollar astrophysics mission. Luckily the Senate stepped in and voted to give WFIRST the much-needed focus it needed to stay on track. However, that wasn’t the end of it. February 2018 was the year Trump had announced his defunding of ISS missions and then again in 2019 he went after at least five other Earth/Science missions. Therefore in the light of his past its a bit odd that he seems so intently interested in space all of a sudden.
So basically there is a reason behind his madness. Trump’s policy doesn’t seem to favor Space as a place of exploration and scientific discovery but instead as a battleground and terrain of war. Proponents of Space Force say that it is a much more of a practical operation which means to protect U.S. assets in space. Our current contemporary society is so heavily invested in satellites that to lose one of these would compromise the status quo. This is what the Space Force means to secure.
Is there a second Space Race on the rise?
There are still talks of a moon mission on the table. No, the Apollo mission was not a hoax. Despite underfunding the ISS, Trump also hinted at a possible relocation of those funds toward another lunar trip.
It has been decades though since a man had last set foot on the surface of the moon. America’s funding for moon exploration came to a screeching halt with the final Apollo mission in 1972. Space exploration has gone on the back burner for the government budget. The ISS is as far as anybody goes nowadays. This is the equivalent of if Christopher Columbus just putts around the Spanish coastline for the rest of his life after discovering America.
With the advent of SpaceX and other commercial space programs, it is possible that Elon Musk and Trump may be doing some deals in the future. Large science-based programs lie SpaceX has a good chance of getting government subsidies, especially when it has to do with military contracting.
The future has much to hold for the coming age of Space exploration. Perhaps Space Force will become an actual military detachment that pumps funds into much-needed space science and research sectors. We have to sit back and see what the future has to unfold for this and hope that it gets us to the stars.