“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” President Trump said just before announcing the inception of a Space Force – the sixth branch of the American armed forces.
This show of “American dominance” comes in the wake of an already booming commercial space industry in the USA, which the Trump administration hopes will benefit greatly from this new platform. Space Force will be responsible for operating a state-of-the-art framework for space traffic management – a system which does not yet exist. Such a traffic management system is critical however, for the safe launch and maintenance of spacecraft in orbit in the ever-growing debris field around Earth. Tracking space debris has been a recent goal for space engineers and scientists – and whether ground-based laser track-and-destroy technology such as that being developed by Australian scientists will be used by the new branch is yet to be seen.
Space Force is in the early days of conception, but amidst the stir of space conquest, Trump has promised that the US will return to the Moon, and eventually send people to Mars.
Image: YouTube – Trump in Space
This story is taken from the 22 June 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.