Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Space Force

In lighter political news, President Trump has announced the creation of a new military branch, a "space force", to protect the United States interests in space.

Surprisingly, I'm generally okay with this decision.  While I'm not at all for the general militarization of space, it does seem like a very future thinking decision for the development of our military and general defense.

I do not understand the concerns from the Air Force about separating this out into its own function.  After all, that would seem to be a little ironic given their own history.  There is room for both, though they may have slightly overlapping jurisdictions.  We have branches that have to work under this arrangement now.

The best argument I've heard for the creation of this branch relates to the training and preparation of a dedicated group of space professionals.  "The most compelling justification for an independent service for space is on the personnel side," said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  " A grooming of a space cadre of space professionals ... that's where the Air Force has not offered much in the way of reform."

Indeed, even if this development just meant that NASA would once again be fully funded as a Research and Development Civilian wing, it would be a victory.  NASA  has indicated it "strongly supports the White House's continued bold direction in forging a sustainable and focused space policy that strengthens American leadership."

And I know everyone wants to make the Star Wars jokes, but to me, I'm just wondering if this is the beginning of the Federation.

The development still has to go through Congress, and if approved, the details still have to all be worked out, but this is an actual exciting development.

We should have never stopped reaching for the stars; never stopped pushing the horizon.

We need that perspective again.

"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world."
Carl Sagan, on the Pale Blue Dot

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