Trump’s Space Plan – Could it happen?
The US president has repeatedly mentioned the idea of a “Space Force” – but what would it really entail?
In a video article by the BBC, Todd Harrison, head of the Aerospace Security Project, goes through what the space-dreamer Donald Trump has repeatedly talked about and what that would mean.
Aerospace Security Project is an aerospace research project run by the US organization CSIS, which in turn researches security issues.
“Donald Trump has mentioned the idea of a space militiam several times and what it is about is an ongoing discussion at the US Congress to create a separate military service focusing on space,” said Todd Harrison.
The US president has stated that space is an environment where warfare occurs, just like on land, in the air or at sea. And both Russia and China have developed technologies that allow them to erase US military satellites.
In the interview with the BBC, Todd Harrison clarifies that warfare in space does not mean that soldiers would fight as if it were Star Wars without the unmanned satellites (Wow, I can’t believe Star Wars and war is mentioned in the same sentence here)
He tells us that the United States has become more and more dependent on space for military operations and believes that it is something that the country has to take seriously. But although Congress would make a decision today to create a military branch focusing on space, it takes a long time before it becomes reality.
“It will take several years, even if the decision is taken soon,” explains Todd Harrison. “Congress must first take the decision and then when implemented it will take between five to ten years”
The Senate may be reluctant today, but in time they will probably bow down. For Russia and China, military forces have already been dedicated to space. And the United States Department of Defense has long been concerned that a military conflict is likely to begin with an attack on satellites delivering images, managing communications and GPS for the battle.
“Both (Russia and China) will continue the development of a wide range of anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) as a way to reduce US military capabilities,” said Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, in a congressional hearing, reports Popular Mechanics.
It’s not just the clean weapon systems that rely on GPS. Today, many of the US soldiers are equipped with the Android Tactical Assault Kit. “ATAK” is a smartphone whose GPS replaces the map, but also used to coordinate seizures, determine places for dropdown and pickup – and of course keep in touch with other forces. A wrecked satellite could be a tough surprise for wild marines soldiers stranded in the midst of the wilderness
Let’s not forget…
For decades, scientists and entrepreneurs have thought that we may be able to settle on Mars, and now it is predicted that in 13 years we will have sent the first astronauts to the planet. In any case, if we will believe in Mars One – a collective of scientists and space scientists who have as a project to be first on the planet.
Another person who participates in the competition to be in March is Elon Musk. His company SpaceX has concluded that they want to launch the first human expedition to Mars, as early as 2024.
It’ll be interesting to see who eventually gets there first on both accounts. I’d wager the bet that, if achieved, it really would put the US back on the map in regard to space capabilities and would not be outshined by that one person that we all seem to admire so much. Musk is diversifying and entering a number of different (unrelated) areas, such as the candy business (who would’ve thought) – But this is an area that’s rather more serious with international players having a stake in it success. In an eventual success, it would be the human race relishing in the achievement.