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Why a US Space Force? The Current Space Arms Race

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posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 01:50 PM
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I should call the whole thing 'CSAR' and be down with it, but...not this time.


Anyways, there has been a huge backlash over the proposed US Space Force. Some of it has to do with the fact we need an official 'cyber force' more. Some of it has to do with the idealism that space shouldn't be used for war, ever. Others, probably the majority, just plain want to attack the President[1]. There are legitimate reasons actually have a separate space force.

The first reason is internal. Space, whether we like it or not, is a legitimate domain for warfare. The US military has become wildly dependent on space based assets to conduct our methods of fighting. Whether its as simple as GPS to the communications the satellites give us or the intelligence the intelligence assets in space provide, our military needs a guaranteed access to space and to be able to defend itself there. Likewise we need to be able to deny access to space to anyone we are at war with. This doesn't mean having Battlestar Galactica, the USS Enterprise or an Orion. There are better ways to do either of those than that. Being to defend and dominate space has become too important.

Secondly, the US Military, while becoming increasingly dependent on space, keeps screwing up its ability to defend and dominate space. For the last 25 years, the US military has worked on the assumption they will always have free access to space and our enemies will leave us alone up there. That has been demonstrated to be false (see below), but the US military has shown it doesn't want to be bothered with more than a handful of niche satellite types: communications, some intelligence and the GPS units. In fact, many communications contracts have been given to civilian satellite companies rather than the military having their own. This has included foreign national satellites. other than when supporting their immediate needs, the US military doesn't want to spend the money away from their core missions: the air force wants to fly; the army wants to shoot; and the navy wants to sail. Congress has pushed and hard for about 4 years for the military to clean up their act. The last two they have proposed either a Space Corps within the US Air Force much like the Marine Corps is within the US Navy, technically, or an independent space force. The Pentagon has resisted. Congress and the President have had enough. And there is good reason.

China has been testing numerous weapons to kill satellites. In 2006, the Chinese fired a laser on an American satellite. In 2007, China fired an antisatellite missile from the ground and smashed into one of their own satellites. This caused a huge cloud of debris and actually inspired the movie of Gravity, even if it was waaaay over the top. China has also made microsatellites that can impact with others nations' satellites and destroy them: in 2011, a Chinese microsat flew dangerously close to the International Space Station. Tests by the Chinese on antisatellite weapons has continued through at least February 2018.

Russia has not been idle either. The Russians actually made the Russian Air Force a branch of the Russian Aerospace Force on August 1, 2015. The Russian Aerospace Force was the first 'space force,' years before the US began creating one. Recently, the Russians launched a matryoshka satellite, that has been acting strangely. The Russians have stated it is for inspecting other nations' satellites. This satellite has been letting out smaller satellites with an unclear purpose. They seem to have launched up to 4 asat satellites. Additionally, in Russia tested antisatellite missiles named Nudol in Nov 2015, May 2016, December 2016 and March 2018. Finally, the Russians claim to have developed lasers for kill ing satellites as well and have a dedicated laser test facility for the same.

India and Israel have stated they are working on ASAT weapons as well. Other nations may want to do so as well. While it IS rocket science, if you can build a rocket, in the simplest way, you can load it with ball bearings and have it explode such that the orbital velocity of the satellite causes it to be destroyed. That, honestly, is pretty "easy" to do.

When you factor in the fact many nations are working on hypersonic weapons, space is going to become even more critical: the satellite constellation needed to detect and track hypersonic weapons is going to enormous. Punch a hole in that and now you have missiles that can reach targets without being seen from thousands of miles away in a handful of minutes. And you have no idea if it is carrying a nuke or not.

If anything, the US Space Force has been overdue for a long, long time. is it the ideal way to handle the problem of the Pentagon not doing the job properly in space? Possibly not. However, when you can't get someone to do something for a long time, you are going to finally throw in the towel and get someone else to do it. Congress and the President decided they were tired of waiting and are going to get someone else for the job now. That 'someone' is the US Space Force. We hope.

FWIW, here's the initial report: media.defense.gov... (warning, PDF & ATS doesn't like the link for some reason) in support by the Pentagon. After it was flogged.

1. I actually loathe him, but just because you hate someone doesn't mean they are going to automatically wrong all the time.
edit on 18-8-2018 by anzha because: link issues again




posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 02:31 PM
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We also need the Space Force to deal with any other space based weapons that exist. Someone must have, in space or ready to launch, one of the many other weapons explored for use in space. Like the ones HERE and HERE. Just read the other day that a normal everyday satellite can be hacked and turned it a space based microwave weapon.

Go Space Force



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: anzha

I'm excited for this and damn glad. While people mock this with memes and stamper about world peace, Nations with intent are experimenting in space.

We need this space force as if will be our deterrent from other hostile nations.

Pretty interested to see what renewed interest will result in...



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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Space-based assets require computers.

Computers, though they may utilize space-based assets, do not require such assets.

A “Cyber Force” is therefore more essential than any kokamammie “Space Force”.

And BTW; study up on some physics, specifically orbital dynamics, before you all start spouting off on how necessary it is to have our weapons in orbit, ready to defend our satellites.

Think you’ll find that hitting a target from 22, 000 miles up (geostationary orbit) is a lot harder than hitting one from just 200-1000 miles (ground or aircraft-based weapons). Even with lasers (which travel only in straight lines and dissipate over distances.

Also, the only way you’re going to be able to hit something in orbit WITH something in orbit is if you match the orbit of the thing you want to hit.

Not only is that a very costly (in terms of both fuel and time to maneuver - orbital dynamics again!) to accomplish, it’s a dead giveaway as to your intentions. It also makes you a sitting duck target as well.

Now, if you want to talk abou near-space options, things get more interesting, but the USAF already runs a program for those.
edit on 18-8-2018 by Bhadhidar because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar




Also, the only way you’re going to be able to hit something in orbit WITH something in orbit is if you match the orbit of the thing you want to hit. Not only is that a very costly (in terms of both fuel and time to maneuver - orbital dynamics again!) to accomplish, it’s a dead giveaway as to your intentions. It also makes you a sitting duck target as well.


Sounds like a laser would work best.



Now, if you want to talk abou near-space options, things get more interesting, but the USAF already runs a program for those.


Sounds interesting, can you tell us more?



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Lasers are line of sight only; a laser beam cannot bend to follow the curvature of the Earth, and therefore hit a target in orbit, which by nature is following the curve of the planet, unless the target is in the laser’s direct line of straight-line sight.

The Rand Corporation did a study of military strategic uses of near-space a number of years ago.

Wikipedia also has an article on near-space. I worked with one of the firms mentioned in the article.

As to the current status of the USAF’s project(s)...I’m no longer involved.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:27 PM
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Control the ionosphere control space.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:31 PM
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originally posted by: BASSPLYR
Control the ionosphere control space.


Some scary truth to that, Bass!

The things most people just never consider.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: Bhadhidar

If I may ask, where in what I wrote suggested the weapons would be in space?



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:50 PM
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originally posted by: Arnie123
a reply to: anzha

I'm excited for this and damn glad. While people mock this with memes and stamper about world peace, Nations with intent are experimenting in space.

We need this space force as if will be our deterrent from other hostile nations.

Pretty interested to see what renewed interest will result in...


You mean like "we" started decades ago and have always led the charge on, for all intensive purposes? So then others had to follow suit or be completely dominated. And now "we" are continuing to up the ante. As if we can afford it as a nation?

www.usdebtclock.org...




posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:54 PM
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I agree it is time to mount a defense: I am no expert by any means but even several years ago when the armed services were putting all their eggs in the GPS basket there were those saying, "what are you going to do when that service is knocked out ?"
If I remember correctly China and Russia are both believed to have developed ASAT missiles that can target and reach geocentric orbits; whether they can actually hit something remains to be seen.... Another thing that some may be over looking is the collateral damage that happens when just a few satellites are hit and destroyed. The debris field left in orbit can and will take out other satellites or destroy their ability to function.

If a scenario where the powers that be start popping each others satellites can you imagine what that will do for future endeavors to get off planet earth.. Worse that a mine field in orbit..

I also read someplace that if it is a joint service mission satellite it can take up to ten years to launch because of all the infighting and inter service bickering ... Everyone wants their own piece of the money pie.. The Space force will supposedly stop that B.S. by delegating authority and setting priorities..... for once there will be a command and control able to make decisions in a timely manner.



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 07:26 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky

The first war in space is the last time humans get to leave the planet. Good thinking!



posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 08:17 PM
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John Pike, formerly of the Federation of American Scientists wrote this piece many, many years ago:

Waiting for Star Fleet, American Control of Outer Space and there was actually another one where he recommended the new Space Force be given control of the cyber domain somewhere around the mid to late 90s.

Space and the internet have been a problem, for a long, long time.



posted on Aug, 23 2018 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Growing U.S. satellite vulnerability: The silent ‘Apocalypse Next’

spacenews.com...



posted on Aug, 23 2018 @ 08:52 PM
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