College Space and Planetary Sciences High School Space and Planetary Sciences TSS

The Reality of a Space Force

This article is about the concept of a "Space Force" and what the dangerous path it could lead down.

     Modern politics are becoming increasingly more divisive. Our President, Donald Trump, is a major factor in that division. Among many slogans, President Trump has created a new rallying cry for a “Space Force”, a new branch of the military that operates in space. In an article from the New York Post, President Trump is quoted as saying “You (Space Force) will be part of the five proud branches of the United States armed forces: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Coast Guard,” (New York Post). This should frighten any American, and honestly and citizen of Earth because this could have devastating effects on international relations and any peace across the world. Not only that, but it has the possibility to put men and women at a huge risk in an environment that is already risky enough. This Space Force could end up doing more harm than good.

     Conflict in space has been depicted multiple times in science fiction. In fact, it is hard to find a science fiction story set in space that doesn’t include some form of warfare in outer space. However, what science fiction often fails to portray or what we often fail to realize is the death toll. Every time a rebel X-Wing is shot down in Star Wars or a part of the Enterprise is hit on Star Trek, a person dies off-screen. Now it is easy for us to just push this thought aside when it is fiction, but what happens if this becomes reality? How can we push it away if it was actual people being killed? Now many will say that we already but people at risk in the military. And the people in the military act heroically, but they do that because conflict occurs on Earth. There is no conflict in space. There is no war over borders. There is no military installations, no weapons, no destruction, just discovery. The moment a country, especially a superpower such as the US sends military power up there, that peace is over. Former astronaut Scott Kelly pointed out that “space has been a place for us to work in a peaceful manner. And, you know, changing that with not any clear reason at this point is, like I said, kind of hard to understand” (NBCNews.com). Kelly explains that discovery and exploration in space will work best if it does peacefully and in cooperation with other nations like Russia or China.

 ISS_March_2009    The best example of international cooperation for the exploration of space is the ISS (International Space Station). The concept of a space station was certainly not original with stations like Skylab and Mir made the US and Russia respectively. However, the ISS was original because it was a collaboration between many different countries to explore space. According to NASA.gov, the ISS was “launched in 1998 and involving the U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, and the participating countries of the European Space Agency” (NASA). This space station is the biggest space station ever made by mankind and has yielded very important research on topics like the effects of staying in space for large spans of time on astronauts. This research is key if humanity is to ever live off-world. And it is highly unlikely that we would have this research if not for the cooperation of multiple nations to create this station. The moment we create a “Space Force”, we deter collaborations like this from happening in the future. And the moment we send a military force up there, what stops another country from doing the same? It’s escalation, plain and simple. And that escalation could be be the last nail in the coffin for mankind’s exploration of space.

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  1. Fredericks, Bob. “Trump Calls for New ‘Space Force’ as Part of US Military.” New York Post, New York Post, 18 June 2018, nypost.com/2018/06/18/trump-calls-for-new-space-force-as-part-of-us-military/.
  2. “Former NASA Astronaut Blasts Trump’s ‘Space Force’ Plan.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/top-astronaut-blasts-trump-s-space-force-proposal-n897426.
  3. Garcia, Mark. “International Cooperation.” NASA, NASA, 25 Mar. 2015, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/cooperation/index.html.

1 comment on “The Reality of a Space Force

  1. The Space Force is most likely not going to happen. You have to consider the Outer Space Treaty, so most of what the Space Force would do is things that already exist like surveillance through satellites. Orbital bombardment is the only thing I can think of that could be developed in terms of the military aspect of the Space Force, since that would not affect anything in space.

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