The US Space Force is NOT a joke?

Saying it doesn’t make it so, I’m afraid.

Last month, not long before boarding a plane to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas, President Donald Trump signed legislation that created the newest military branch in the United States in more than 70 years: the Space Force.

The new Space Force instead exists inside the Department of the Air Force, in an arrangement similar to that of the Marine Corps and the Navy, which both operate under the Department of the Navy. There will be no secretary of space: As space-ops chief, (General Jay) Raymond now holds the organization’s highest position. The law also stipulates that the Space Force must be built from existing personnel in the Air Force, and does not have the authority to hire new people. The Space Force has simply absorbed the Air Force unit that focuses on space operations, the Air Force Space Command, which was established in 1982. Its members will remain Air Force officers, but those with space-related roles will become Space Force officers in the next year and a half.

Uh oh— with the Space Force under USAF purview instead of being a Space Navy, pretty much the entire output of every SF/space opera writer since Heinlein just went kaput. I bet David Weber, for one, just about had himself a mild stroke when he heard the news.

The prospect of a Space Force has been hazy since Trump first mentioned it, mostly because the proposal seemed to be a passing thought. “I was saying it the other day—’cause we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space—I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the Space Force,’” Trump said back in 2018, to an audience of marines. “And I was not really serious. And then I said, ‘What a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that.’”

Your biggest official mistake so far, Mr Preznit sir, maybe even an unforgivable one. Why the obvious and totally spectacular name—Star Fleet, dammit!—didn’t occur to you is beyond my ken. Star Fleet already has the uniforms, rank structure, mission profile, and a cool logo ready to go.

On the other hand, though, maybe Trump prefers to wait for the United Federation of Planets to come into existence for that, perhaps as a matter of good taste. But such deference isn’t necessary according to the Star Trek canon itself, for cryin’ out loud:

Starfleet predates the Federation, having originally been an Earth organization, as shown by the television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

So there. Onwards.

The immediate future of the Space Force involves a lot of paperwork and a dash of symbolism, rather than new uniforms and fight songs. Raymond will join the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military officials who advise the president directly, and the service must come up with and submit an organization plan to Congress in February.

While the Space Force is now official, a slight disconnect in reality remains.

I’d say so, yeah, only a goodish bit more than merely “slight.” How could it be otherwise, when the sad shell of the once-great NASA now lacks the hardware and wherewithal to boost humans into high Earth orbit anymore, and American astronauts are reduced to begging a lift to the ISS from the Russians, Indians, Chinese, Ethiopians, or whatever other third-rater out there might have a working rocket handy?

Jeez, even the Air Farce’s mainstay atmospheric platforms are creaky, leaky, and geriatric at fifty to seventy years young, while our supposedly latest and greatest design is looking like more of an albatross (or an apteryx) than an eagle. And just how do we regain our national mojo as doughty explorers of the Final Frontier when we’ve become such trembling ninnies about safety and risk-avoidance that we wet ourselves in fright at the thought of letting our kids play outside?

Maybe the creation of a Space Force with no readily usable spacefaring vehicles at hand could turn out to be a boost for nascent private outfits like SpaceX, and a lift to the spirits for those of us cake-eating civilians who still care about these things. But I can’t help but feel it’s a mildly embarrassing bit of hubris as well. Who knows, maybe we’ll live up to it someday. If we don’t, it’s a dead cert that somebody else will.

4 thoughts on “The US Space Force is NOT a joke?

  1. Drone operations, satellite monitoring, and sortie flights (one man, one target, out and return) can be Space Force tasks.  It won’t be Star Fleet until we develop ships with long endurance and the ability to maneuver when necessary.

  2. Unless/until science finds a way to put mass into space that doesn’t require strapping it to a giant roman candle that is 90% fuel and only 10% payload the “space force” is a farce.  Just another bureaucracy to throw tax dollars at.  To date the ONLY thing that has the requisite energy to put mass above the grasp of earths gravity is chemical energy derived from combining unstable oxidizers with a fuel of some kind.  And that energy is BARELY adequate to the task.  If nothing more capable of leaving earth’s gravity well isn’t developed humans are DOOMED to live ONLY on earth with the barest of abilities to explore ONLY our solar system.  Physics doesn’t care about wants, desires, fantasies or military delusions.

  3. If and when they drop “rods of God” on every FBI, DoJ, NSA, and CIA facility around the world, THEN they will indeed be “not a joke”.  Not one minute before then, however!

  4. Just think about it though, all that room for diversity. You don’t actually need a functional space vehicle, just point to the inclusiveness and you’re home free. Kind of a Drag Queens in Space thing. You know someone will try.

Comments are closed.

Comments policy

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't. Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

Categories

Archives

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved." - Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork." - David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

Subscribe to CF!

Support options

Shameless begging

If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Best of the best

Fuck you

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Rss feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Contact


mike at this URL dot com

All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless otherwise specified

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2020