Could the Military be Getting a ‘Space Force’?
Outer space has always drawn people, and as we continue to explore it, we have to start asking ourselves a big question: at what point are nations going to be fighting over space?
While there are no immediate plans in the works, it’s only a matter of time until settlements begin to appear on the moon or on other planets, not to mention any space stations that might be added to our orbit. Even additional military satellites from different nations could trigger a war for inner space – something that’s never happened before.
The issue has come up before, but recent comments by President Trump brought it up once more.
“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” said the president. “We have the Air Force, we’ll have to have the Space Force.”
This isn’t the first time someone has suggested this, either. Back in June, the House Armed Services Committee tried to establish a Space Corps. The Space Corps would be a new branch of the military that would be under the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps functions through the Navy.
The Trump Administration tossed the idea back then, but they could be changing their mind.
What a Space Force could look like
If you’re imagining armies shooting lasers at each other in space, you might want to rethink space wars.
According to experts, a Space Force would likely be made up of unmanned and remote systems – similar to the Predator Drone. This would allow the military to control the systems safely from the ground.
But what the Space Force would specifically consist of is a mystery. Intelligence gathering devices are a likely candidate, given that many satellites are out of reach from enemies. Devices that could render enemy satellites useless could also be a possibility.
While space could be the next theater for war, it could also be the start of the shift to drone warfare. Drones are intriguing to the military since they’re a relatively safe way to engage in combat.
Will Space Force happen?
There are no immediate plans to start Space Force. That being said, it’s a movement that’s quickly gaining momentum. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Congress ends up voting on it at some point in the next few years.
One thing that could push the Space Force forward is the commercial space industry. Satellites have always been a huge market, and companies like SpaceX are only pushing things forward. If space goes unregulated and unchecked, there’s no telling exactly what could happen.
As with anything involving the private industry, the nation will also have to develop resources. While public funding for space projects is already impressive, the need for more action in space will grow as the commercial space industry continues to grow.
It’s only a matter of time until Space Force becomes a very real thing, and if the US isn’t the first to establish a presence in space, another nation will be.