President Trump recently mentioned ‘perhaps’ forming a Space Force to fight battles and wars in space.
As you can imagine, this had led to a certain amount of speculation across the internet. Some people are incredulous that a space equivalent of the Air Force will be created, whilst others seem to be firmly of the opinion that a space force is not only an idea but already exists.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Gary McKinnon talks about his experience of probing NASA computers in 2002 and finding a spreadsheet that referred to a number of ‘non-terrestrial officers’. What could that term mean? “Non-terrestrial officers”? Does the force that President Trump described already exist and has it existed for a number of years?
It is quite remarkable to consider that to be true, however, what other interpretation could be placed on a title such as that? If it was referring to on or under the sea, so the officers were not based on dry land, wouldn’t they simply have been referred to as US Navy? If the officers were patrolling the skies wouldn’t the spreadsheet have used the term US Air Force? Or are we looking in completely the wrong direction? Could the term “non-terrestrial” actually be used to represent below ground? ie. the officers are not based on the surface of the earth?
As ever, these short statements and speeches tend to generate more questions than they answer.
What are the implications of a Space Force?
At first sight, people may simply baulk at the costs involved. As more privately owned companies gain access to space I can see things developing in a number of ways.
- Private corporations will end up with a monopoly on space travel. They will collude and use a cartel to set prices and charges for passing through ‘their’ space.
- Private corporations will continue to develop craft to travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere but will syphon off huge amounts of tax-payers’ money via obscured or black budgets.
- Private corporations will implement their own forces in space to protect their investments/monopolies and remove all accountability to tax-payers and citizens via democratic processes.
- Governments will actively out-source planetary protection and beyond Earth travel to private corporations.
- Governments will actively out-source beyond Earth travel for globally controlled members of their respective forces.
However, regardless of how things develop on Earth, I cannot help but wonder who this ‘space force’ is to be used against. After all, if extraterrestrial beings come to Earth and pose a threat, wouldn’t it be realistic to assume they would be sufficiently advanced to crush any type of force we could deploy?
Whilst travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere remains an exciting prospect, I cannot help but wonder if a ‘space force’ is just going to be a massive waste of public money. Battles in space are exciting in SiFy films, but in reality, they are not something we should be engaging in as our chances of winning are logically tending towards zero.