Space Force

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When I was a kid I watched the old cartoon show The Jetsons, a futuristic counterpart to the stone age The Flintstones.  Sometimes I think the twenty-first century bears more resemblance to The Flintstones than the Jetsons, but occasionally I am reminded that I am living in, what in circa 1965 would have been regarded as the distant future.  The serious idea of a Space Force goes back to the Fifties and we might say that we have been tardy in creating it, but its time has come.  No, we are a very long way in time and technology from anything approaching Star Trek’s Star Fleet, but this is the first baby step along that path.

 

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5 Comments

  1. When I was a youth and I read about heroic astronaut John Glenn, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut. When I learned that it would take months of travel in a nuclear powered spacecraft (NERVA rocket engines were already being experimented with in the 60s) to reach Mars, and Naval nuclear powered submarines already did months of travel beneath the waves of the ocean, I was determined to become a reactor operator and maybe one day transfer from the Navy to whatever this Space Force might become. Alas, President Nixon killed the NERVA project and my dreams fizzled out. I ended up not in a space force but in commercial nuclear energy. Not very romantic or exciting.

    PS, yes, we built nuclear propulsion units in the 60s for these spacecraft. We could get to Mars or Venus in mere months with them. So much was lost to eco-wacko environmentalist nonsense.

  2. *snickers* The only reason that the “space force” isn’t being recognized as TOTALLY AWESOME is that Trump is responding to China going “oh, yeah, we’re putting this huge cannon up in space– but it’s for clearing debris, yeah, that’s it.”

    Needs to be put as a space version of the Navy, though.
    I wants me some SPACE MARINES!

  3. Space debris is one reason that I have reservations about the Space Force. We already have a considerable cloud of space debris from current space operations. Combat operations in space could make this a bigger problem. Unless the space debris is at an altitude where it gets de-orbited by friction with the Earth’s atmosphere, space junk can persist for quite some time. It is also going at orbital velocity. This can cause it to act like a kinetic weapon when it hits an orbiting spacecraft. With enough space debris we could encircle the Earth with a debris cloud that could severely damage or destroy spacecraft attempting to travel through it, potentially closing off space access.
    *
    Space garbage pickup is in its infancy. People are working on this problem. I am unaware of any off-the-shelf technology that can clear the space around Earth of space debris.

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