Space & Astronomy
US Space Force could put troops in space
October 1, 2020 | 6 comments
It might not happen for a long time, but it will happen. Image Credit: US Space Force
Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw has suggested that US Space Force troops will eventually be sent into space.
Back in June 2018, the US President announced the formation of a new branch of the US military - a 'Space Force' that would help to prevent countries such as China and Russia taking the lead off-world.
Speaking at a conference this week, Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw - head of the Space Force's Space Operations Command - elaborated on the possibility of sending troops into Earth's orbit.
"At some point, yes, we will be putting humans into space," he said. "They may be operating command centers somewhere in the lunar environment or someplace else."
The subject of sending soldiers into space is a touchy one, with US officials keen to avoid directly confirming any intention to create a manned military presence off-world.
As things stand however, it could be many years before the newest branch of the US military makes any attempt to send personnel into space.
"For us, it remains focused on our commanders in the field," said Shaw. "So that's why we've gone there - not because we're battling for control of the moon or Mars, but because we have to ensure space capabilities are there for the folks on the ground."
"That opportunity to be an astronaut inside the Space Force today is almost zero."
In the meantime, most of its operations will likely rely on robotic systems and automated platforms.
"The best robots that humans have ever created are probably satellites," said Shaw. "They're incredible machines, and we're only getting better."
"With machine learning and artificial intelligence, we're going to have an awful lot of automated and autonomous systems operating [on] Earth and lunar orbit and solar orbit in the days and years to come, doing national security space activity."
Source: Air Force Magazine
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