Author Topic: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force (China and others too)  (Read 16551 times)

Crafty_Dog

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I posted this yesterday in the Hall of Shame thread, and use it here today to kick off this thread.

Amongst the long list of areas of strong disagreement I have with Obama is what he has done/is doing with US efforts in space.  My understanding is that our edge in space forms a essential cornerstone of our military strength via our abilities to look down, to communicate, , , and other matters.  This is why the Chinese are so intent on killer satellite technology (as well as hacking our military computer networks)-- so they can blind us and incapacitate our communications.

That our CinC has selected policies that leave us having to pay the Russians to give us a ride into space (on top of depending on them as a supply route to Afghanistan) is jaw dropping to the point of wondering about the man's sanity , , , or patriotism.   I gather he now is absolving the US of any intention of acting independently in outer space as well. 

With regard to the following, Krauthammer spoke of "PC psycho babble".  He is right:
==============

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/obamas-new-mission-for-nasa-reach-out-to-muslim-world-97785979.html

Obama’s new mission for NASA: Reach out to Muslim world
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
07/05/10 2:50 AM EDT

In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation’s space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.”  Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is “perhaps foremost,” because it will help Islamic nations “feel good” about their scientific accomplishments.

In the same interview, Bolden also said the United States, which first sent men to the moon in 1969, is no longer capable of reaching beyond low earth orbit without help from other nations.

Bolden made the statements during a recent trip to the Middle East.  He told al-Jazeera that in the wake of the president’s speech in Cairo last year, the American space agency is now pursuing “a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.”  Then:
When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

Later in the interview, Bolden discussed NASA’s goal of greater international cooperation in space exploration.  He said the United States, more than 40 years after the first moon mission, cannot reach beyond earth’s orbit today without assistance from abroad:
In his message in Cairo, [Obama] talked about expanding our international outreach, expanding our international involvement.  We’re not going to go anywhere beyond low earth orbit as a single entity.  The United States can’t do it, China can’t do it — no single nation is going to go to a place like Mars alone.

Bolden’s trip included a June 15 speech at the American University in Cairo.  In that speech, he said in the past NASA worked mostly with countries that are capable of space exploration.  But that, too, has changed in light of Obama’s Cairo initiative.  “He asked NASA to change…by reaching out to ‘non-traditional’ partners and strengthening our cooperation in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and in particular in Muslim-majority nations,” Bolden said.  “NASA has embraced this charge.”

“NASA is not only a space exploration agency,” Bolden concluded, “but also an earth improvement agency.”




Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/obamas-new-mission-for-nasa-reach-out-to-muslim-world-97785979.html#ixzz0spO08kib
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 11:38:50 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Rarick

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Re: NASA, Space programs
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 07:45:17 AM »
........I feel the need to respond but aside from "that does it we have a nut in the white house"  I really do not have any articulation.   I would understand downgrading NASA to being the space science promotion agency, but the reaching out to international contacts? (Isn't that deparment of state stuff?) and a specific group?!  No, I do not think so.

I hope Rutan, Air Force and the others come up with some sort of cargo hauler before the GPS/ COMSAT systems start collapsing, along with the experimental satellites.  There are so many technologies Nasa brought into the practical use category in an effort to explore space, that we simply would not have an America as we know it now.

We are going to NEED to be in space anyway, there are so many resources, materials, and just plain elbow room, up there.............

DougMacG

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Re: NASA, Space programs
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 02:44:26 PM »
NASA to Put Muslim on Moon Using Muslim Technology
by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace · Comments (21) · ShareThis · Print This Story

(2010-07-08) — The White House today announced a bold new program consistent with NASA’s top priority to help Muslims “feel good about their historic contribution in science and math and engineering,” as the space agency’s chief, Charles Bolden, recently told al Jazeera TV.

http://www.scrappleface.com/?p=4718

Crafty_Dog

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NYT: The coming Clusterfcuk
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 06:21:45 AM »
Where to next? And when?

For NASA, as it attempts to squeeze a workable human spaceflight program into a tight federal budget, the answers appear to be “somewhere” and “not anytime soon.”
When the space shuttles are retired this year — and only one flight remains for each of the three — NASA will no longer have its own means for getting American astronauts to space.

What comes next is a muddle.

The program to send astronauts back to the moon, known as Constellation, was canceled last year.

In its place, Congress has asked NASA to build a heavy-lift rocket, one that can go deep into space carrying big loads. But NASA says it cannot possibly build such a rocket with the budget and schedule it has been given.

Another crucial component of NASA’s new mission — helping commercial companies develop space taxis for taking astronauts into orbit — is getting less money than the Obama administration requested. Companies like Boeing and SpaceX that are interested in bidding for the work do not yet know whether they can make a profitable venture of it.

When it comes to the future of NASA, “it’s hard at this point to speculate,” Douglas R. Cooke, associate administrator for NASA’s exploration systems mission directorate, said in an interview.

A panel that oversees safety at NASA took note of the uncertainty in its annual report, released this month. “What is NASA’s exploration mission?” the members of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel asked in their report.

The panel added: “It is not in the nation’s best interest to continue functioning in this manner. The Congress, the White House, and NASA must quickly reach a consensus position on the future of the agency and the future of the United States in space.”

A nagging worry is that compromises will leave NASA without enough money to accomplish anything, and that — even as billions of dollars are spent — the future destination and schedule of NASA’s rockets could turn out to be “nowhere” and “never.”

In that case, human spaceflight at NASA would consist just of its work aboard the International Space Station, with the Russians providing the astronaut transportation indefinitely.

“We’re on a path with an increasing probability of a bad outcome,” said Scott Pace, a former NASA official who now directs the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University.

A NASA study, completed last month, came up with a framework for spaceflight in the two next decades but deferred setting specific destinations, much less timetables for getting there. One of the study’s conclusions was that trying to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 — as President Obama had challenged the agency to do in a speech last April — was “not prudent,” because it would be too expensive and narrow.

Instead, the study advocated a “capability-driven framework” — developing elements like spacecraft, propulsion systems and deep-space living quarters that could be used and reused for a variety of exploration missions.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the fight is less of a conflict of grand visions than a squabble over dollars and the design details of a rocket.

Last fall, in passing an authorization act for NASA, which laid out a blueprint for the next three years, Congress called for NASA to start work on the heavy-lift rocket. It also said that the design should be based on available technologies from the existing space shuttles and from Constellation; that the rocket should be ready by the end of 2016, and that NASA could have about $11.5 billion to develop it.

At the time, Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who helped shape the NASA blueprint, said, “If we can’t do it for that, then we ought to question whether or not we can build a rocket.”

The blueprint, signed into law by President Obama in October, gave NASA 90 days to explain how it would build the rocket.

Two weeks ago, the agency told Congress that it had decided on preferred designs for the rocket and the crew capsule for carrying astronauts, but could yet not fit them into the schedule and constraints.

“All our models say ‘no,’ ” said Elizabeth Robinson, NASA’s chief financial officer, “even models that have generous affordability considerations.”

She said NASA was continuing to explore how it might reduce costs.

A couple of days after receiving the report, Senator Nelson said he had talked to the NASA administrator, Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., and “told him he has to follow the law, which requires a new rocket by 2016.” He added, “And NASA has to do it within the budget the law requires.”

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Page 2 of 2)



The track record for large aerospace development projects, both inside and outside of NASA, is that they almost always take longer and cost more than initially estimated. If costs for the heavy-lift rocket swell, the project could, as Constellation did, divert money from other parts of NASA.

Thus, many NASA observers wonder how the agency can afford to finance both the heavy-lift rocket and the commercial space taxis, which are supposed to begin flying at about the same time.
“They’re setting themselves up again for a long development program whose completion is beyond the horizon,” James A. M. Muncy, a space policy consultant, said of the current heavy-lift design. “The question is, what does Congress want more? Do they want to just want to keep the contractors on contract, or do they want the United States to explore space?”

He called the situation at NASA “a train wreck,” one “where everyone involved knows it’s a train wreck.”

Constellation, started in 2005 under the Bush administration, aimed to return to the moon by 2020 and set up a base there in the following years. But Constellation never received as much money as originally promised, which slowed work and raised the overall price tag.

When Barack Obama was running for president, he said he supported the moon goal. But after he took office, he did not show much enthusiasm for it. His request for the 2010 fiscal year did not seek immediate cuts in Constellation but trimmed the projected spending in future years.

The administration also set up a blue-ribbon panel, led by Norman Augustine, a former chief executive of Lockheed Martin, to review the program. The panel found that Constellation could not fit into the projected budget — $100 billion over 10 years — and would need $45 billion more to get back on track. Extending the space station five years beyond 2015 would add another $14 billion, the group concluded.

The panel could not find an alternative that would fit, either. It said that for a meaningful human spaceflight program that would push beyond low-Earth orbit, NASA would need $128 billion — $28 billion more than the administration wanted to spend — over the next decade.

If the country was not willing to spend that much, NASA should be asked to do less, the panel said.

Last February, when unveiling the budget request for fiscal year 2011, the Obama administration said it wanted to cancel Constellation, turn to commercial companies for transportation to low-Earth orbit and invest heavily in research and development on technologies for future deep-space missions.

The Obama budget requested more money for NASA — but for other parts of the agency like robotic science missions and aviation. The proposed allotment for human spaceflight was still at levels that the Augustine committee had said were not workable.

In pushing to cancel Constellation, one Obama administration official after another called it “unexecutable,” so expensive that it limped along for years without discernible progress.

“The fact that we poured $9 billion into an unexecutable program really isn’t an excuse to pour another $50 billion into it and still not have an executable program,” said James Kohlenberger, chief of staff of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, at a news conference last February.

At the same news conference, Lori Garver, NASA’s deputy administrator, noted that Constellation, without a budget increase, would not reach the moon until well after the 2020 target. “The Augustine report made it clear that we wouldn’t have gotten to beyond low Earth orbit until 2028 and even then would not have the funding to build the lander,” she said. But with the new road map, NASA may not get to its destinations any faster. As for the ultimate goal of landing people on Mars, which President Obama said he wanted NASA to accomplish by the mid-2030s, it is even slipping further into the future.

Crafty_Dog

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POTH: Space Litter
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 04:47:13 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/science/space/for-space-mess-scientists-seek-celestial-broom.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23

The most obvious sign that there is a lot of junk in space is how much of it has been falling out of the sky lately: a defunct NASA satellite last year, a failed Russian space probe this year.

While the odds are tiny that anyone on Earth will be hit, the chances that all this orbiting litter will interfere with working satellites or the International Space Station are getting higher, according to a recent report by the National Research Council.

The nonprofit group, which dispenses advice on scientific matters, concluded that the problem of extraterrestrial clutter had reached a point where, if nothing was done, a cascade of collisions would eventually make low-Earth orbit unusable.

“NASA is taking it very seriously,” said Mason A. Peck, chief technologist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

There is a straightforward solution: dispose of the space junk, especially big pieces, before they collide and break into smaller ones. Researchers are stepping in with a variety of creative solutions, including nets that would round up wayward items and drag them into the Earth’s atmosphere, where they would harmlessly burn up, and balloons that would similarly direct the debris into the atmosphere. Also on the table: firing lasers from the ground. Not to blow things up, which would only make more of a mess, but to nudge them into safer orbits or into the atmosphere.

Just last week, researchers at a top Swiss university, the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, announced that they were designing CleanSpace One, a sort of vacuum cleaner in the sky — an $11 million one — that will be able to navigate close to a satellite and grab it with a big claw, whereupon both will make a fiery death dive.

The Swiss have only two satellites in orbit, each smaller than a breadbox, but they are concerned about what to do with them when they stop operating in a few years.

“We want to clean up after ourselves,” said Anton Ivanov, a scientist at the institute’s space center. “That’s very Swiss, isn’t it?”

The space junk problem is so old and widely acknowledged that it even has a name: the Kessler Syndrome. In 1978, Donald J. Kessler, who led NASA’s office of space debris, first predicted the cascade effect that would take place when leftover objects in space started colliding.

Today, Dr. Kessler is retired in North Carolina but still contemplating the issue — and the need to clean up. “The sooner they do it, the cheaper it will be,” he said. “The more you wait to start, the more you’ll have to do.”

With so many items whizzing around at more than 17,000 miles per hour and shattering as they crash, the threat to working satellites, which are vital to hurricane tracking, GPS systems and military surveillance, has grown more immediate. Three years ago, a derelict Russian satellite slammed into an Iridium communications satellite, smashing both into tens of thousands of pieces. The Air Force currently tracks 20,000 pieces of orbiting space junk, which includes old rocket parts and dead satellites.

For now, the risk is real but manageable. Satellite operators can dodge the big debris and armor their satellites to withstand impact with smaller pieces. But eventually, if not cleaned up, low-Earth orbit would become too perilous for people and satellites.

MORE

ccp

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Re: NASA, Space programs
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 07:45:46 AM »
I wonder if there is any gold on Mars?   The trip could pay for itself

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Crafty_Dog

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Mars landing
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 07:09:52 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: The Next Great Game
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 07:29:09 AM »
In Space, the Next Great Game
February 1, 2013 | 0301 GMT

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. Although the U.S. government ended the shuttle program in 2011, the United States continues to compete with numerous other countries around the world for a geographic and technological advantage in space. Increased global interest in space exploration and the benefits it could provide on earth illustrate space's continuing strategic importance. After falling behind Russia in the ability to send people into space, the American public and private sectors are working to lower the costs of sending people and material into space, an essential hurdle to gaining that sought-after advantage.
 

Several countries have announced in recent months actions to pursue space-related advances. Russia and the European Space Agency both announced plans for moon-related missions. China plans to put 20 new satellites into orbit in 2013 and attempt to land an unmanned vessel on the moon in the same year. This follows benchmark achievements for China in 2012, including manned docking operations with its space laboratory, Tiangong-1. Japan plans to test new launch technology in 2013 aimed at increasing operational efficiency and decreasing costs. There have also been smaller advances made by other interested states, including South Korea's successful launch of an indigenous satellite into orbit and Iran's reported launch of a monkey into space this week.
 
The competitive nature and the geopolitical importance of space is inherently militaristic since satellites control global communication and navigation. A huge portion of the U.S. military command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities are reliant on this infrastructure, which is instrumental in projecting force and maintaining situational awareness throughout the world. 
 
Most of this infrastructure is relatively indefensible and have few, if any, replacement options. This makes it a prime target for any advanced state in conflict with the United States. Although there is no evidence to suggest that any non-state actor has the ability to threaten space, this is not likely to be a permanent condition. The ability to lift small payloads into orbit trickles down to ever-smaller private enterprises and "rogue" nations like North Korea or Iran, who -- while they may lack refined targeting and maneuverability -- can put debris into orbit in a disruptive and possibly dangerous manner.
 
More nations building space-based infrastructure could be advantageous to the United States, who leads in this capacity. As these other states continue to build their own infrastructure and rely on its capabilities, a natural deterrence develops. Each side thinks twice before attacking the others because it opens them up to similar retaliation. Compounding this, more nations involved in space could lead to a degree of interconnectedness, meaning that any attack could be perceived as an attack on all countries cooperating with the targeted country. This could spur an international response, a reason for further deterrence. Given that the United States holds most of the physical infrastructure and concurrently relies on it, other actors may see that as incentive to attack it in an attempt to level the playing field in the event of hostilities.
 
An important step toward further development of space is the increasing affordability of the launch. The space shuttle sought to increase affordability as a reusable launch vehicle, but the cost savings of the program never fully materialized. To further establish territory in space beyond satellites, the lift cost, or the amount of money needed to get material into space, needs to be reduced.
 
The estimated cost for a single launch into low earth orbit is roughly $10,000 per pound. However, SpaceX, a private company operating in the United States, is set to test a rocket system in 2013 that claims to have reduced lift costs to less than $1,000 per pound, which is considered a reasonable baseline for affordability. (It is unclear whether this cost includes insurance of payloads.) SpaceX plans to achieve affordability through adjustments in launch technology that will allow for easier mass production of the engines, which would reduce production costs, among other things. Advancements such as this, even in the private industry, could allow the United States to re-establish its role as the eminent leader in space exploration. Japan is also looking to reduce launch costs through technological advances aimed at decreasing costly operation time. The Japanese, by using the Epsilon Launch vehicle, plan to test some of these potential improvements later this year.
 
The present geopolitical importance of space remains. The establishment of satellites to coordinate terrestrial activity will continue. The management of navigation and communications through satellites remains vital. Additionally, the continued technological advances in making space more affordable brings closer the idea of making it habitable.
 
The United States was long perceived as the leader of space exploration; when the space shuttle program was shut down, that image was left a bit tarnished. Ten years after the tragic Columbia accident and more than a year since the U.S. shuttle program ended, several nations are competing for a future position in space. Through continued efforts at NASA and the country's growing and robust private sector, the United States remains the primary competitor in the arena, but the field is becoming increasingly crowded.
.

Read more: In Space, the Next Great Game | Stratfor

Crafty_Dog

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G M

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Re: Buzz Aldrin: We are fuct
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 06:53:42 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor on VP Pence's proposals
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2017, 09:41:25 AM »



Stratfor has previously highlighted the importance of commercial and military applications of space travel and space technology. Although the strategies employed change over time and between administrations, maintaining its role as a leader in such technologies is an imperative for the United States — especially as space becomes increasingly crowded.

The new U.S. presidential administration is rolling out a new, but familiar, approach to space exploration and related policy. On Oct. 5, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence led the inaugural session of the National Space Council's latest iteration. The meeting was the council's first in more than 20 years, enabled by U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate the long-dormant program in June. Although the council directs U.S. space policy, it can't set budgets or pass laws. At today's meeting, key stakeholders from the civil, commercial and military spheres presented testimony advocating their goals and interests regarding space development and exploration. Pence, for his part, outlined the administration's aims in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal earlier in the day that focused on, among other things, a shift in focus from conquering Mars to returning to the moon.

The shift was not a secret or a surprise. Many private space companies have already unveiled programs geared toward returning to the moon. Many of the technologies used to return to the moon will also be applicable for a mission to Mars. Travelling to the much nearer celestial body will enable the development of new technologies and the redevelopment of existing ones that will be necessary to explore targets farther away, such as a trip to Mars or even interstellar travel. Although some challenges are unique to interplanetary travel, developing lunar travel could enable fledgling private space companies to be better prepared for an eventual trip to Mars.

The list of entities with viable space programs has changed substantially since the United States made its first trips to the moon in 1969 and in the 1970s. The moon has been deemed a strategic asset by the Trump administration, but it's also become the focus of other nations such as China. The United States is just one of many nations for which a competitive space program remains an important strategic goal. International and the national regulations were among the topics discussed at the Oct. 5 council session. As more countries become involved in space exploration, international regulations and laws will need to adapt. 

But it's not just national programs that can influence space exploration and development. In his op-ed, the vice president also alluded to continued reliance on private space companies to maintain U.S. dominance in space. The commercial space sector will be vital to the United States reaching its targets, whether they're focused on the moon or on Mars.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Space Farce
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2018, 05:13:30 PM »
Houston, We Have a Space Force
A new military service isn’t needed to compete above the Earth.
By The Editorial Board
July 4, 2018 3:09 p.m. ET
103 COMMENTS

For most Presidents an event about space regulation wouldn’t produce headline news, but then there’s President Trump. At such an event last month Mr. Trump ordered the Pentagon to develop a de novo military branch dedicated to space. This plan is not ready for the launchpad, even if Mr. Trump is right about the threat.

President Trump’s idea of a “separate but equal” Space Force isn’t novel: The House last year passed a proposal for an independent space branch, and Congress ended up commissioning a study. The argument is that the Air Force is ill-equipped to manage threats from Russia and China, which are aggressively expanding military capabilities in space.
An artist concept of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) that will track how Earth’s weather and space weather interact.
An artist concept of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) that will track how Earth’s weather and space weather interact. Photo: nasa handout/european press agency/Shutterstock

The proponents have a point. The U.S. relies on satellites for essential functions like GPS but also weather and directing military efforts on the ground. The threats include jamming or spoofing signals, hacking, antisatellite missiles, and perhaps more the public doesn’t know. Periodic classified briefings to Congress appear to terrify Members.

A 2016 study from the Government Accountability Office revealed 60 distinct entities that deal with assets in space, either managing or acquiring technology, sprawled across government. The Air Force handles about 90% of unclassified space dollars, though the Army and Navy also have outfits that deal with space. GAO cited all the usual suspects of Pentagon projects, including cost overruns and leadership churn. To her credit, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has made fixing some of the dysfunction a priority by streamlining duplicative procurement.

A wholly separate space force would replicate these problems on a larger scale. Branches of the military form their own cultures but also their own civilian workforces and back-end offices to manage operations. Service chiefs compete for dollars from Congress, and budget fights can be more about preserving power centers than national security.

Note too that personnel costs, particularly health care, are already crowding out other Pentagon priorities. Worse, entitlements like Medicare are crowding out Pentagon funding. This means in the future a lower portion of a lower budget will be dedicated to core competencies of war.

Air Force Space Command already employs 36,000 people at 134 locations, and don’t believe those who say these functions would be absorbed by a new Space Force with no added staff. A new headquarters alone would spawn hundreds of new aides and staffers. The Air Force will try to avoid surrendering its personnel and dollars to a new branch, even if the Space Force is designed as a subsidiary, much like the Marines are of the Navy.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis summed it up last year when this idea was floated in Congress: “I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”

But Mr. Trump is fixated on the prospect, and in response to his June remarks Secretary Mattis said the Pentagon would start the process. Congress would have to authorize a new branch, but Members of both parties seem willing, albeit after a fight over whose district will host the space cadets.

Yet proceed with caution. Congress is free to dedicate money to research and development in space or do a wholesale restructuring of Air Force Space Command. Congress can also continue to propose discrete ideas. One is Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s proposal to put sensors in space that would help missile-defense systems communicate with one another.

Republicans in Congress had to swallow tens of billions in domestic spending this year to win even a modest increase in funding for the armed services. That will be a waste if the GOP sets up a space force that copies and pastes the military’s culture of inefficiency.



Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Space, the final frontier for war?
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2019, 10:20:29 AM »
From a year ago:

Space: The Final Frontier for War?
By Omar Lamrani
Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor

Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor
The nighttime lights of the United States are seen from space.


    The U.S. military will continue to debate the relative merits of creating a Space Force that is separate from the other branches of the U.S. armed forces.

    In the absence of international standards regulating conduct in space, the risks will grow that the United States, China and Russia will accelerate their own efforts to militarize the theater.

    Treaties stipulating a blanket ban on weapons in space are unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future because of their significant limitations and concerns over the ability to verify compliance.

"Space is a war-fighting domain." It's a mantra that U.S. officials have been stating ever since the Chinese blew up their own weather satellite during an anti-satellite missile test in 2007. Eleven years on, it's a phrase that U.S. President Donald Trump repeated in March in making the case for the creation of a Space Force. Although there is a growing awareness of the militarization of space — and that the area around Earth is indeed a potential theater of war — the Space Force debate remains a predominantly bureaucratic and organizational one. But while enhanced defense in space is important, it alone will not solve the root danger of the growing risk of an extraterrestrial war among terrestrial powers.
The Big Picture

Earth's immediate environs have become vital for humanity, and critical in particular to the world economy and the telecommunications network that supports it. Accordingly, it is important to avoid a war in space, especially since debris from destroyed satellites would cause massive collateral damage to other objects in orbit around our planet. Avoiding conflict in space, however, will require both a sound defense policy and a concerted international diplomatic effort.
See The Second Space Race
Grabbing the Final High Ground

Beyond being just the final frontier, space is also the ultimate high ground. It not only provides the best possible vantage point to surveil activity on earth, it also greatly facilitates navigation, communication, targeting, and command and control. For the past 70 years, the U.S. military has leaned heavily on space as a force multiplier, integrating it as a critical component of its joint war-fighting capabilities thanks to technological advances in sensors and satellites. Today, U.S. space infrastructure is so vital to the country's military operations that it has become practically indispensable. But this reliance on space has also become a vulnerability — a dynamic that has not escaped the attention of competitors and adversaries such as China and Russia, which have also bolstered their own space capabilities over the past two decades.

Driven by these trends, the U.S. military has focused on improving its defenses in space so it can better defend against and counter an attack on its space assets. In short, the United States — along with its adversaries — now views space as a war-fighting domain similar to the land, air, and sea domains.
Time for a New Service?

This is where the debate over a Space Force comes in. The United States has four military services (the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps) under the auspices of the Department of Defense whose primary responsibilities are to train, organize and equip their forces. A fifth branch of the armed forces, the Coast Guard, is under the Department of Homeland Security. Until now, the Air Force has primarily overseen the national security aspects of space through the Air Force Space Command, which was established in 1982, but the creation of a Space Force would result in a sixth branch of service.

The main driver behind the creation of a Space Force is the idea that the U.S. Air Force is unable to provide as much capability in space as an independent and specialized service would provide. In general, proponents of a new force have argued that the Air Force has not done enough to prioritize space and that its other missions distract it from its focus on the world above. Specifically, such commentators have criticized the Air Force for devoting too little money to space, acting too slowly in acquiring materials for space, failing to promote its personnel involved with the space mission and, finally, dismissing space as a domain in which to wage war. Air Force leaders and their supporters have acknowledged the veracity of some of the issues but suggested that the best way of solving the matter is not to create an entirely new service that will drive up costs and create overhead, but to implement reforms within the Air Force to better enable it to tackle the space mission. In effect, it's not so much a debate centered on the merits of added defenses in space as it is a debate over bureaucracy and organization.

And in a case of history repeating itself, it's also a debate that is familiar to the Air Force, seeing as the institution experienced a similar tug of war before it became the United States' newest service after World War II. The argument was so fierce that it even resulted in the court-martialing of Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell (widely regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force) in 1925 after he vehemently accused the Army and Navy leadership of failing to prioritize air power. The crucible of World War II, however, demonstrated to all that the Air Force not only had its own distinct strategic and operational concepts but that it also could directly affect combat as much as other services could (especially thanks to strategic bombing and the advent of the nuclear bomb).

Space Force is not so much a debate centered on the merits of added defenses in space as it is a debate over bureaucracy and organization.

As U.S. officials weigh the merits of creating a Space Force independent of the Air Force, questions regarding cost (it might cost more than $10 billion just to establish the service), congressional oversight and organizational inertia ensure that the process will remain slow and subject to much discussion. What is clear, however, is that the country's leaders will devote more attention to space in the years to come. At present, the United States relies on 10 unified commands with distinct geographic and functional areas of responsibility that are not directly tied to any service for the country's joint war-fighting needs. To that end, authorities would likely create a unified command (similar to U.S. Strategic Command that deals with nuclear deterrence) to focus solely on space before considering the formation of a standalone Space Force.

Whatever organization ends up taking the lead in space, the United States will significantly increase its attention and funding for the national security mission in space. Beyond the use of space for navigation, communication, command and control, and surveillance, the country is also assuming the mission to deter and even fight a war in space. Such a task requires the country to track more foreign satellites, defend its own satellites from attack, counter with its own attacks if necessary and even take advantage of space's perch as the ultimate high ground — potentially to deploy ballistic missile defenses. In fact, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act requires the U.S. military to not only begin work on developing new warning satellites to spot ballistic missiles but also to develop weapons to intercept the incoming projectiles from space.
Taking Earth's Battles Outside

The U.S. move to beef up its defenses in space is understandable given the increasing attention the frontier is receiving from its closest competitors, China and Russia. Both countries continue to develop their anti-satellite capabilities, including specialized maneuvering satellites that could be deployed to either conduct repairs on other satellites or interfere with them in a nefarious way. Nevertheless, in the absence of parallel diplomatic efforts and a wider comprehensive strategy to establish international standards for conduct in space, the U.S. move to strengthen its defenses in space could drive the Russians and the Chinese to accelerate their own space militarization efforts. For instance, the United States could technically use interceptors, which are essential to a space-based ballistic missile defense system, to destroy other satellites — a fact that is bound to drive Beijing and Moscow to establish their own deterrents in space in the absence of significant transparency or agreements.

Because any space conflict would produce large amounts of space debris that would ruin the orbiting assets of all countries -– and devastate the world economy in the process -– the only way to win a war in space is to not fight one.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is the world's foundational and governing document on space. The agreement bars members (including the United States, Russia and China) from placing nuclear weapons in space and mandates only non-military activity on the moon and other celestial bodies. The pact does not, however, enact restrictions on the placement of conventional weapons in space, and subsequent efforts to impose such limits, including the 2006 Space Preservation Treaty, have failed.

Such blanket treaties are unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future because of their significant limitations, as well as concerns over the ability to verify compliance. The United States has especially voiced concern in this regard, repeatedly voting down such initiatives in addition to noting that the treaties fail to take into account the ability of terrestrial anti-satellite weapons to damage space assets. Nevertheless, the dim prospect of any blanket ban on weapons in space should not limit the effort to engage in transparency and confidence-building measures, which could provide a foundation for more narrow arms control agreements that limit specific aspects of the increasing militarization of space or the scope of such activities over the long term.

Whether or not U.S. defense in space is best served by the creation of a new service is an organizational question that will attract debate over the next few years both inside and outside the military. What the question does not address is the need to incorporate a simultaneous and concerted effort to establish international norms in space to prevent a destabilizing, militarized space race. Because any space conflict would produce large amounts of space debris that would ruin the orbiting assets of all countries — and devastate the world economy in the process — the only way to win a war in space is to not fight one. To that end, space should increasingly be seen through a prism akin to that of nuclear deterrence in which the ultimate aim is to prevent a space war from ever occurring. There is a vital need to build up a defensive capacity to deter an attack in space, but this capacity should be tempered by outer space treaties and norms in much the same way as arms control agreements have played a vital role in restricting nuclear arsenals. The future of the world and its neighborhood depends on it.

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Stratfor: Great Power Competition feeds threat of Anti-Satellite Tech
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 07:52:59 PM »


Great Power Competition Feeds the Threat Posed by Anti-Satellite Technology
By Omar Lamrani
Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor
Omar Lamrani
Omar Lamrani
Senior Military Analyst, Stratfor

Highlights

    As demonstrated by India's latest anti-satellite (ASAT) test, the number of countries willing to pursue ASAT weapons and capabilities in space is growing.
    The rising great power competition among Russia, China and the United States is driving ASAT use and development.
    ASAT technology produces dangerous space debris that can disable important satellites and challenge the long-term sustainable use of space.
    Unfortunately, adequate norms and treaties do not exist to regulate the ASAT risk, and the tense dynamics among global powers suggest they are unlikely to be formed in the near future.

Another country, another test, yet more debris floating through the crowded realm of near-orbit space. On March 27, India became the latest country to carry out an anti-satellite (ASAT) test resulting in debris. India sought to frame the test as a sign of its prowess in space, but on a global level, the event serves as an important wake-up call about the risks of ASAT-related technology.

The Big Picture

Space is increasingly a realm where geopolitical conflicts play out, both through direct combat and through strategic control of various technologies and locations. As the global great power competition heats up, it is driving the development of technologies that put humanity's access to or use of space at risk.

The Second Space Race


More and more countries are developing ASAT technologies for exploration and defense — especially as the great power competition among the United States, China and Russia heats up — which increases the risk that space will be littered with dangerous debris that could collide with important satellites either accidentally or during conflicts. And the tense dynamic among countries with ASAT technology will stall any attempts to develop international norms or treaties to reduce the consequences of space debris and ensure the long-term sustainable use of space.

The Danger of Debris

India's test, despite being carried out at the low orbit of about 300 kilometers (186 miles), created significant space debris; some fragments will take several years to decay. Space debris can collide with and destroy satellites, creating a multiplier effect known as the Kessler syndrome or "ablation cascade": Collision between objects in space (such as through the destruction of a satellite) creates space debris that then collides with other objects and creates even more space debris. The resulting expanding debris field increases the likelihood that satellites could be damaged — either intentionally or accidentally, which would have disastrous effects on humanity's day-to-day functionality. Individuals, companies and entire nations rely on satellites for all manner of navigation, communications, research and security functions. If certain satellites were to be unexpectedly disabled, society and the economy at large would experience dramatic consequences.

Space debris can collide with and destroy satellites, creating a multiplier effect known as the Kessler syndrome or "ablation cascade."

But despite the fact that errant space debris could disrupt airplane navigation, render weaponry inoperable or cut off many forms of communication, countries are still likely to take deliberate actions that create more debris for a variety of reasons.

The Many Causes of Increased Space Debris

In the event of a major war between global powers, adversaries could choose to deliberately impede opponents' use of space by damaging their satellites in a way that also forms major debris fields and interrupts the opponent's space-based expeditionary warfare efforts. And deliberately fomenting space debris would still escalate a situation less than the use of nuclear weapons, so a losing country would be more likely to choose this method, especially if its own satellite constellations had been already destroyed.

The proliferation of space debris can be unintentional, as well. Just as a limited nuclear strike could deteriorate into full thermonuclear war by causing cycles of retaliation and escalation, a similar process could occur in space. An initial limited first strike by one power against an adversary's satellites could trigger a bigger retaliation (and perhaps even be misread as a harbinger of a more extreme offensive), which could then spiral into an all-out battle of satellite destruction. Even without much escalation, the initial destruction of a small number of satellites could trigger major damage to day-to-day affairs on earth.

Even countries not engaging in combat can increase the levels of space debris and drive an ablation cascade. All kinetic ASAT tests inevitably produce a debris cloud that could potentially collide with other objects in space and trigger more debris. This applies especially to tests that occur at a significant altitude, like the 2007 Chinese ASAT test. But India's recent ASAT test at a fairly low altitude of about 300 kilometers still led to significant space debris, with some fragments reaching an altitude above 1,000 kilometers. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has stated that the risk of the International Space Station being hit by small debris increased by 44 percent over a period of 10 days as a result of India's test.

Handling the Present and Rising Threat

Millions of pieces of debris currently in orbit already pose a major hazard to the safety of important satellites. Wary of the possibility of satellite destruction, various states and space agencies are increasingly viewing space debris as a serious issue distinctly associated with national security, and they are developing ways to mitigate or reduce debris in space. Technologies in this effort include lasers, robotic arms that can maneuver satellites, magnets and even a 100-kilogram (220-pound) spacecraft featuring a harpoon and net, which British company Surrey Satellite Technology tested in 2018.

Even without much escalation, the initial destruction of a small number of satellites could trigger major damage to day-to-day affairs on earth.

However, these same technologies that can clean up space debris are also ideally suited for missions involving the destruction of enemy satellites, meaning that the better nations become at eliminating debris in the future, the more efficiently they can destroy enemy satellites. During an actual major conflict extending to space, these technologies could be a greater part of the problem than the solution. After all, it's far easier to find and destroy satellites than to clean up the uncountable fragments of space debris produced by disintegrated satellites during conflict.

As the United States looks to expand its investments in space as part of its great power competition with Russia and China, the U.S. military is acutely aware of the risks of a war in space. Today, the United States possesses approximately half of all satellites in orbit and is very dependent on space to wage war. Consequently, its space strategy remains primarily centered on deterrence, though Washington is certainly preparing to defend its satellites and counterattack if necessary. Deterrence alone, however, may not be enough. As more and more countries develop ASAT capabilities, and as other great powers — particularly China — rapidly perfect theirs, conflicts on earth are increasingly likely to extend to space in the form of direct attacks on enemy satellites. Indeed, this outcome is almost guaranteed during any large-scale peer-to-peer conflict between the great powers, especially given the United States' heavy dependence on its space architecture.

An Uncertain Future

Right now, there are no treaties regulating the development, fielding or testing of ASAT weapons. A general taboo against kinetic ASAT tests exists, given the well-known danger posed by space debris, but it has not stopped countries such as the United States, China and now India from conducting ASAT tests. The United States itself likely contributed to the normalization of ASAT technology when it conducted the 2008 intercept of the USA 193 satellite. While the intercept happened at a very low orbital altitude (less than 300 kilometers) and resulted in far less space debris than China's 2007 ASAT test, it still produced considerable debris — and it paved the way for India to conduct a "responsible" ASAT test at about the same altitude later on.

It's far easier to find and destroy satellites than to clean up the uncountable fragments of space debris produced by disintegrated satellites during conflict.

A growing number of voices within the United States are calling to establish and strengthen norms aimed at preventing more space debris. These include the head of U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. John Hyten, who discussed the dangers of space debris on April 9 in the wake of the Indian ASAT test. However, the rising great power competition among strong, space-faring nations is driving mistrust and undermining U.S. efforts — as is the United States' own significant role in dismantling a number of key arms control agreements over the past couple of years. The seemingly imminent demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the questionable status of New START indicate that it will be less and less likely for nations to establish cohesive norms around ASAT capabilities in the near future. The fact that missiles used as ballistic missile defense interceptors (which many nations have been openly developing) are also applicable as ASAT interceptors adds further barriers to such an effort.

The peaceful use of space will be increasingly threatened not only by active conflict but also accidents, ASATs and miscalculations that spiral out of control. As the competition among great powers propels more technological breakthroughs in space, it also drives the production of space debris, which amplifies the risk that important satellites could be disabled — either intentionally or accidentally.

Omar Lamrani focuses on air power, naval strategy, technology, logistics and military doctrine for a number of regions, including the Middle East and Asia. He studied international relations at Clark University and holds a master's degree from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, where his thesis centered on Chinese military doctrine and the balance of power in the Western Pacific.

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Note the prediction
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2019, 11:19:33 AM »
This is 2010

04:25

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtykfyU9CqI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3SpxPdcdbEVcgU0TlXHog9uj34czROjnRoZbJUoq7LQR8SExL5KwV_kGE

Saw a conversation with a Chinese expert on Tucker the other night and he said the Chinese ALREADY have satellites that can come up and kidnap our satellites!

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George Friedman: The Enchantment of MAD
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2019, 12:14:17 PM »

The Enchantment of Mutually Assured Destruction
By
George Friedman -
October 24, 2019
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One of the most extraordinary facts of history is that during the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union never launched a war against each other. They probed and prodded on the edges of war, but it never rose to its logical conclusion: nuclear war. When we consider the sophisticated statesmen of 1914 and 1939 who led Europe into catastrophe, it is the world’s good fortune that they were not the ones managing the Cold War. Rather it was being managed by the United States and the Soviet Union, who were meticulously and obsessively careful to avoid war. The irony is that many Europeans tend to regard Americans as cowboys and the Russians as barbarians, and themselves as sophisticated and cautious. Yet it was the European gentlemen who hurled themselves into wars of slaughter, while the cowboys and barbarians did everything they could to avoid war. This is an important point I like to make, especially in meetings with Europeans.

There was of course a fundamental difference between the two world wars and the one that never happened. The Europeans believed that these wars would be contained. The French in 1914 did not appreciate what the machine gun could do. The Germans didn’t appreciate what massed bombers could do in 1939. This was a failure of imagination. There could be no failure of imagination about nuclear weapons. If anything, imagination was insufficient to grasp what they would do. The Europeans should have known what machine guns and bombers could do, but they didn’t. The Americans and Russians could not evade the truth.

Still, each nation had to survive, and to survive it had to know the unknowable: what the real intention was on the other side. In war, surprise with overwhelming forces is the dream. Not knowing your enemy’s intent is the nightmare. Barring information to the contrary, each side should have struck first and fast. That neither side did was not due to their virtue. It was due to the fact that the Soviets in the 1950s could not have launched a massive first strike at the U.S., and therefore the U.S. did not strike either. “Dr. Strangelove” was nonsense intended to depict the thoughtful and careful political and military leaders as demented. They weren’t.

In due course the Soviets developed a first-strike capability, and that was the moment of danger. Whoever struck first, with massive surprise, would survive. The other would not. Wars sometimes arise out of lack of imagination. A nuclear exchange would arise out of a lack of knowledge – not knowing what the other side was capable of, and not knowing each intended, but knowing that if the enemy struck first, he would survive.

What prevented nuclear war was mutual assured destruction. So long as each side understood that an attack would trigger an equal response, war was avoided. The only way to guarantee that was to make certain that each side was aware of the other’s capabilities, and that each side could detect an attack with enough time to respond. By maximizing intelligence and minimizing the probability of surprise, the risk of attacking was overwhelmed by the probability of an equal counterattack. There are those who regarded mutual assured destruction as madness. I have never understood why. We are humans and we go to war, but this war was avoided.

Of Aristotle’s virtues, it was prudence that governed. But prudence could have also dictated a first strike. Prudence was redefined by technology. The Soviets focused on constructing a missile force. As a spinoff of the missile force, they launched a satellite, Sputnik, into low-Earth orbit. The Americans were galvanized to do the same, but propaganda aside, creating satellites opened the door to a prudence of peace. A few years after the first demonstration satellites were launched, so were reconnaissance satellites, which would observe and target enemy missile bases, and years later, satellites that could detect the heat of a missile launch. The satellites made it possible to know the enemy’s capabilities and detect a missile attack with enough warning that a counterattack was possible. No one was really certain that their own or the other side’s systems would work, but no one was certain they wouldn’t. The probability of a one-sided victory through surprise shrank, and prudence dictated avoiding any action that might frighten the other side. The Cold War evolved into a political, or low-intensity, conflict, rather than catastrophe. And the leaders of both sides were shaped to be masters at pressing an advantage without excessively frightening the adversary.

After World War I, intellectuals sought to understand the origin of war in the human psyche, which is what the sophisticated called the soul. Men in particular possess within themselves a rage that, when unleashed, can be satisfied only by violence. They also possess a fear not only of death or harm, but of shame in defeat, or worse, fleeing the battlefield. There is nothing original in this, as Homer wrote about it. The followers of Sigmund Freud sought this dichotomy in the subconscious rage against the primal father. In doing this, they turned war into a compulsion, a necessary part not of history or society but of the very souls of men. The rage would in the end overwhelm fear, and brush aside prudence. I myself learned about this in school at PS 67 in the Bronx, when I insisted on fighting Hector in spite of the fact that he had crushed and would again crush me.

But in the Cold War, and in the satellites both sides launched, we find that reality can impose a prudence that overwhelms the primal rage in men. From space, we could see the enemy and the enemy could see us. Whatever our rage at each other, it could be tempered by prudence. The idea that war is the result of a need so deep it cannot be controlled was shown to be false. The need for war may well exist, but it does not rule.

Space was the sphere that made the war impossible. If you will recall my earlier discussion of enchantment, my detour into space is intended to bring us back to that theme. In much of the world, heaven, or space, is the realm of peace and redemption. It is an enchanted place. The fact that we avoided annihilating each other was not to be found in our souls, which were filled with the rage that haunts us all. Rather it was the fact that we humans, using space, changed the equation between rage and fear. Before World War I and World War II, rage overwhelmed fear, and prudence argued for war. The Cold War remained cold because the logic of technology, and the existence of the heavens, dampened the soul of the angriest warriors. Many died in lesser wars, but our two nations survived. That was quite enough of an achievement in the 20th century.

I am not trying to make enchantment mystical; I am trying to demystify it. But at the same time, those astronauts of all nations who have gone into space have testified to an awesome beauty that was beyond their ability to express. The word they never used was enchantment. It is a sphere that has been the realm of gods, a place where a higher law governs. It has struck me many times that while we have come to think of space as prosaic, as the realm of technicians and budgets, it is enchanting for two reasons. First, it is enchanting because it is beautiful and our bodies float in violation of all laws we know. Second, it is enchanting because it rendered impossible a war that should by all rights have been fought.

There are many technical reasons, but we should stop and consider how extraordinary it is that heaven imposed prudence on the rage Freud wrote of. Whether it can continue to do so is a question for later, but it is extraordinary that the sphere that we had entered for the first time, because of the Cold War, was the place which made that war impossible.

Hence there is a connection among my ramblings, although I am still poking at it uncertainly.

   

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Space Law Program
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2019, 05:23:56 AM »
Sent to me by Big Dog:

https://law.unl.edu/spacecyberlaw/

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take a tesla to space ? no thanks
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2019, 09:50:15 AM »





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George Friedman: New US strategy and tech
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2020, 01:39:46 PM »


February 18, 2020   View On Website
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    New US Strategy and Technology
By: George Friedman

The world is facing a fundamental strategic and technical shift in both the geopolitics of war and its dynamic. The shift is being driven by the United States’ decision to change its global strategic posture and the maturation of new classes of weaponry that change how wars will be fought.

U.S. Posture

The U.S. has publicly announced a change in American strategy consisting of two parts. The first is abandoning the focus on jihadists that began with al-Qaida’s attack on the U.S. in 2001. The second is reshaping and redefining forces to confront China and Russia. For a while, it had been assumed that there would no longer be peer-to-peer conflicts but rather extended combat against light infantry and covert forces such as was taking place in Afghanistan. After every international confrontation, including the Cold War, the absence of immediate peer threats leads strategists to assume that none will emerge, and that the future engagements will involve managing instability rather than defeating peers. This illusion is the reward of comfort to the victorious powers. Immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union, the belief was that the only issue facing the world was economic, and that military strategy was archaic. The events of 9/11 changed that, but the idea of national conflicts was still seen as farfetched.

The United States is now shifting its strategy to focus on peer-to-peer conflict. Peer-to-peer conflict is not about two equal powers fighting; it’s about two powers that field similar forces. So the war in Afghanistan was between a combined arms force and a totally different, light infantry force. As we saw in Vietnam, the latter can defeat a far more advanced force by understanding the political dimension more clearly than its opponent. Peer-to-peer conflict involves two forces conceiving of war in the same way. Germany invaded Poland and was by far the more powerful force, but Poland conceived of war the same way the Germans did. In this sense, they were peers.

The United States is a global power. Russia cannot wage war in the Atlantic or Pacific. China cannot project decisive power into Europe. The United States can do both. It is not nearly as geographically limited in its warfighting as the other two are. But were the United States to confront them within the areas where they can operate, the question then is the quality of forces, in terms of command and technology.

China’s national interest pivots on its ability to use sea lanes to sustain international trade. Its ability to project land power is limited by terrain; to its south are hills, jungles and the Himalayas, and to its north is Siberia. It could attack westward through Kazakhstan, but the logistical challenges are enormous and the benefits dubious. For China, then, the fundamental problem is naval, deriving from the threat that the U.S. could use its forces to blockade and cripple China.

Russia’s strategic interest rests in regaining the buffer zone from Latvia to Romania. The loss of these states in 1991 eroded the main defense line of an attack from the west. Russia’s primary goal, therefore, is to recover these buffers. Of secondary but still significant importance is holding the North Caucasus south of the Russian agricultural heartland. The threat to this region is insurgency in areas like Chechnya and Dagestan, or an American move from the South Caucasus.

Neither a U.S. naval blockade of China nor an attack on Russia proper from the west are likely scenarios. But national strategy must take into account implausible but catastrophic scenarios, because common sense can evaporate rapidly. Thus the Russians must maintain sustained pressure primarily to the west but also to the south. China must press eastward, in the South and East China seas, to demonstrate the costs a blockade would impose.

The focus for each is not necessarily action but creating the possibility of action and thereby shaping the political relationship. The danger is that the gesture will trigger what had been seen as an unreasonable response. The problem for the United States is that it cannot be sure of Russia’s or China’s reading of American intentions, and therefore, it must be prepared to counter both. War is rarely about hunger for conquest; it is about the fear of being conquered. For Russia, it is fear that the U.S. will try to achieve what Napoleon and Hitler failed to achieve, given the loss of its buffers. For China, it is a fear of strangulation by American naval forces. For the United States, it is fear that Russia will return with force to Central Europe, or that China will surge into the Western Pacific. All such fears are preposterous until they mount to such a point that doing nothing appears imprudent.

A New Class of Weapons

World War II was first waged between German armor and Soviet infantry, and then it became a war of armor against armor. In the Pacific, the decisive war was not of battleships against battleships, but of aircraft against naval vessels and, toward the end, airpower. Much of the battles on islands like Saipan and Guadalcanal were intended by both sides to secure them for air bases. The Cold War, had it turned hot, was conceived of as an upgraded World War II, of armor and air power against armor and air power.

From World War II until the end of the Cold War, peer-to-peer conflict focused on three classes of weapons: armored vehicles, aircraft carriers and manned bombers. After 1967 and the introduction of precision-guided weapons, the survivability of these weapons declined, and massive resources had to be allocated to allow them to survive. Armor had to be constantly upgraded to defeat far cheaper projectiles that were unlikely to miss. Aircraft carriers had to be surrounded by carrier battle groups consisting of anti-air cruisers, anti-submarine destroyers and attack submarines, all integrated into complex computer systems that could counter attacks by precision-guided weapons. Manned bombers flying into enemy airspace could be confronted by sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. The solution was to try to build bombers invisible to enemy radar. The cost of defending these systems that emerged in World War II surged as the cost of destroying them began to decline.

Counters to precision-guided weapons inevitably emerged, and we have reached the threshold of a new class of weapons: hypersonic missiles. These munitions, which can travel at five to 10 times the speed of sound, maneuver in flight and carry sufficient explosives, including sub munitions (smaller projectiles designed to hit multiple targets), make the survival of tanks, surface vessels and manned bombers increasingly problematic. Their speed, maneuverability and defenses against detection decrease the probability that all incoming hypersonic missiles can be destroyed, while they retain the precision of previous generations of weapons.
 
(click to enlarge)

Russia, China and the U.S. are all working on these weapons. Sometimes they exaggerate their limited capabilities; sometimes they minimize their substantial capabilities. But all have them and are developing better ones if they can. And this changes war from the way it was conceived in World War II and the Cold War. A new system of weapons is beginning to emerge.

The key to the development of hypersonics is range. The shorter their range, the closer the attacker must come. The longer the range, the more uncertainty there is over its location and the more likely it is to survive and be fired, maneuvering in excess of the ability of defending system. So in the South China Sea, it will not be carriers facing carriers. They will be neutralized by hypersonic missiles. Nor will it be armored brigades engaging. The tanks will be neutralized long before they engage. The goal will be to locate and destroy an enemy’s missiles before they are launched and before they can approach their target.

The key will be the ability to locate and track hypersonic missiles and then destroy them. The solution to this is systems in space. The Chinese will not engage the U.S. Navy with its carriers. It will try to destroy them with well camouflaged missiles from land bases. To do this, they must locate the target, which is mobile. Its own platforms being vulnerable, they will rely on space-based reconnaissance. The United States’ primary mission therefore will be to destroy Chinese satellites, find the location of Chinese launchers and launch saturated attacks on them, likely from space.

Modern war, like all war, depends on intelligence and targeting information. Precision-guided munitions move older platforms toward obsolescence, and hypersonics closes the door. The battle must be at a longer range than most missiles have now, and will be dependent on a space-based system for targeting. This means that victory in war will depend on command of space.
Note that the U.S. has now established the U.S. Space Force, which integrated the space fighting capabilities of other services into one. This represents the realization that dealing with peer powers now depends on the command of space. Therefore, the United States’ strategic turn away from jihadists toward Russia and China also constitutes a shift away from the primacy of older platforms. A new strategy and the recognition of the importance of space mean that the decisive battle will not be fought on Earth’s surface.   

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GPF: Astropolitics
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2020, 09:15:27 AM »
On Astropolitics
There’s much we don’t know about outer space, but a theoretical approach should begin with what we know about air and naval power.
By: Ridvan Bari Urcosta

The first time space power was used for terrestrial warfare was the Gulf War, during which satellites contributed significantly to military operations in the Middle East. Since then, there has been increasing demand for technology and war modeling for operations in space. Space, it seems, is slowly but surely becoming an essential component of warfare. It is therefore time and prudent to start giving thought to and building a framework for understanding the parameters of space operations and conflicts. If geopolitics concerns all things earthly, then we can refer to how nations interact among the stars — relations among colonies on planets, satellites and space stations, as well as economic cooperation, resource competition and the order around which this is built — as “astropolitics.”

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of outer space, of course. We don’t even know what kinds of technologies we will need to develop to operate there. Even so, a theoretical approach to thinking about space power should start with things we do know: naval operations and air operations. Like the oceans, the expanse of outer space can be thought of as a global commons. This means the two share some inherent characteristics such as long lines of communications and potential strategic chokepoints. Naval power has been used for centuries to secure national interests and project power. And though there is some uncertainty over how relevant aviation and satellite technology will be when used well outside the bounds of our planet, aircraft are nonetheless an important if auxiliary element of war.

With this in mind, we can begin to examine a set of geopolitical principles and imperatives that will determine the future of space power, using sea power as the main intellectual foundation.

Command and Control

For as big as Earth probably seems to a naval officer on the open sea, it’s nothing compared to outer space. On Earth, there are peninsulas and islands and atolls, nearly all of which have been charted, and many of which have existing infrastructure on them already. Once we start to explore the vast of outer space, we will be doing so comparatively blindly. This will make company-level operations centers even more important there than they are here.
 
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Command and control will also be more difficult to achieve. Bleddyn Bowen, an international relations scholar, posits a division between space command and space control. Bowen defines the command of space as securing and/or denying the use of celestial lines of communication that objects and information travel in, from, toward and through. Space control, on the other hand, is more like controlling specific areas of Earth, only in outer space. It is about hegemony — both military and political.
But just as there are chokepoints on Earth, so too will there be chokepoints in outer space. There will, after all, be satellites, ships, colonies and everything else that needs to be supplied and serviced and inhabited. Those chokepoints can be divided into four broad categories:

•   Satellites and spaceships with long-term missions, and space stations with crews undertaking military functions near the Earth’s orbit.
•   Satellites and space stations in the first and most important celestial communicational line — from Earth to the moon.
•   Satellites and space stations between the second important celestial communicational line — from Earth to Mars.
•   The satellites, commercial ships and warships, and space stations and independent colonies that will eventually fill the solar system in the distant future. (Likely their missions will be to become commercial, logistical or geopolitical hubs for the assumption of command and control responsibilities.)

Much of this will be impossible, of course, without the use of satellites, warships, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles that will be run by artificial intelligence, without human interference. Carl Dolman Everett connects space warfare with informational warfare, but it is possible to develop this concept and imagine in the future a direct military interaction both on Earth and in space, between the “software” of the great powers. For a space mission, it would be cheaper and safer to send drones with AI to specific and dangerous missions than to endanger a human crew. Both for politicians and for business leaders, this will be an optimal solution. And this is to say nothing about the legal framework of space travel, which doesn’t exist yet. As Jonathan Sydney Koch writes, currently there is a lack of legal framework for the use of space resources found on asteroids and other celestial bodies. In general, their missions, strategically speaking, will be the same as those of warships at sea.

From Sovereignty at Sea to Sovereignty in Space

The oceans required autonomy and independence from ships; given the time and distance between colonies and the metropole, space will require it even more so. The appearance on the global political map of different independent states is determined by geopolitical factors. The metropolis was not able to control the complex social and political entities that colonies became from a remote distance. While they were primitive settlements it was relatively easy, but when the old management started to change, it became impossible.
 
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In case of war or emergency, the crew or settlers in space must have full independence in order to adopt the most adequate decision to their reality; given the serious time delays in communication with Earth, anything less would be impossible for a state that wants to achieve great-power status

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: The New Gold Rush in Space
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2020, 02:28:12 PM »
The New ‘Gold Rush in Space’
Russian immigrant Mikhail Kokorich talks about America’s edge in the new era of private exploration, and his own plans for a water-fueled space transport.
By Tunku Varadarajan
Aug. 7, 2020 2:47 pm ET

When the Crew Dragon splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico last Sunday—completing the first manned space mission from American soil in nine years—Mikhail Kokorich was exultant. Which is striking, given that he’s Russian.

Crew Dragon was conceived and constructed by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space-transport company. “It’s remarkable,” Mr. Kokorich, a physicist and aerospace engineer, says of the mission, “because it marks the transition of space exploration from the nation-state into the hands of private entrepreneurs.”

Mr. Kokorich, 44, is one such entrepreneur. In 2017 he founded Momentus, a California-based company that seeks to revolutionize transport in space by developing in-space transfer vehicles that use water as a propellant. These would “complement low-cost gigantic rockets, like Starship from SpaceX and New Glenn from Blue Origin,” he says. Craft built by Momentus would enable the outer-space equivalent of the connecting flight. A satellite would reach orbit by “ride-sharing on a big rocket,” then transfer to a Momentus vehicle for the next leg farther out.

The choice of water as a propellant, Mr. Kokorich says, would “not only enable extremely low-cost in-space vehicles—built in a ‘Mad Max’ steampunk style—but eventually allow the use of water mined from the moon and from asteroids.” Far-fetched? He points to “binding contracts already with NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Air Force,” not to mention dozens of satellite operators and manufacturers. “Hell, Momentus even has a ride-share partnership agreement with SpaceX.”

Now a CEO in the vanguard of rocket science, Mr. Kokorich was born in a house with no indoor toilets and sporadic electricity in Aginskoye, Siberia, population around 10,000. His mother was 19 when she bore him, and he was raised by her parents, both schoolteachers with more education than almost anyone else in town. “I often studied by the light of a kerosene lamp when I was young,” he tells me by Zoom from his house in Los Altos Hills, Calif., where he’s lived since he left Russia in 2014 as part of what he calls “the Putin exodus.”

He pored over more than science textbooks. “I read many American writers,” he says. “Jack London, Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway. These books helped me understand the importance of human freedoms and the spirit of pioneers.”

Thus he speaks of the Crew Dragon splashdown with a historical sweep. “In terms of managerial effectiveness,” he says, “using private business for space is like Queen Elizabeth I’s hiring of Francis Drake in the 16th century. These are buccaneers in space.” Drake created a multigun ship, “which was the greatest achievement of science and technology of that time.” He leaps ahead to the 17th century: “With the help of the East India Co., the British Empire was built in the East. This laid the economic foundation for victory over Napoleonic France and the Pax Britannica in the 19th century.” Mr. Kokorich says private companies like SpaceX—and, yes, his own—“will be the main driver of centuries of Pax Americana in space.”

America is regenerating its space ambitions as Russia falls ever lower in the space-tech pecking order. “The U.S. is definitely No. 1, then the European Union, then China,” Mr. Kokorich says. “Next, I think India is now comparable with Russia, and maybe even more advanced than Russia in a wider sense.” He attributes “the withering of Russia’s historic might in space” to its being strapped for cash, saddled with a Soviet-era approach that leans too heavily on the state, hampered by international sanctions and export restrictions, and debilitated by a brain drain—of which he is an example: “I am,” he says, “the typical representative of the Putin exodus.”

He says there’s been a tectonic shift in space exploration, from the Cold War superpower rivalry to a “gold rush in space,” driven by private enterprise. Entry barriers are lower because satellites are connected to rockets in an increasingly standardized way, and the cost of hardware has dropped like a meteor. “Ten years ago,” he says, “it cost $100,000 to launch one kilo into space. Five years ago, with cheap post-Soviet Russian rockets, the price fell to $20,000 to $30,000. Today, it’s $5,000.” He says it will drop another order of magnitude, to $500, once Starship—SpaceX’s super heavy, fully reusable rocket—is operational.

Mr. Kokorich believes the extraterrestrial gold rush favors the U.S. “The development of a new generation of reusable methane-fueled rocket engines,” he says, “definitively ended the U.S. dependence on Russian rockets that began when the Soviet Union collapsed.” The choice of the Lunar Gateway as “the next human-habitation platform in space, instead of a space station in Earth’s low orbit, carries with it financial and technical requirements that will effectively make the U.S. the controlling, if not the sole, platform operator.”

He also cites President Trump’s executive order of April 6 on the recovery and use of space resources, which he calls a “great clarifier, reinforcing the view that Americans should have the right to engage in the commercial exploration and recovery of resources in outer space, rather than treating space as some sort of global commons.” In short, Mr. Kokorich says, the U.S. will, “for the foreseeable future, use its market power to set the agenda of international cooperation.”

Numerous major U.S. corporations are already leading players in space. The big tech companies are developing satellite constellations to connect the estimated half of the global population that’s not yet online. “Amazon and the aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin,” he says, “are working on Project Kuiper to enhance global broadband connectivity. With Google’s backing, SpaceX is constructing a satellite constellation of its own. And true to form, Apple is pursuing a space project in secret.” Even Facebook has confirmed a satellite program in the works. All this, he says, is proof of “transnational cooperation driven by an entrepreneurial initiative that serves all mankind,” and of the benefits “afforded by American oversight.”

Mr. Kokorich is happy to see the U.S. leave his native land behind in the 21st century’s space race. In 2014 he moved to the U.S. under an O-1 visa, granted to aliens “with extraordinary ability or achievement.” In 2018, after he and his companies endured years of threats from Moscow, he applied for political asylum in the U.S. The last straw was his detention and four-hour interrogation that year at Moscow’s international airport. He hasn’t returned to Russia since, fearing imprisonment.

Dimitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s state-run space corporation, Roscosmos, suggested recently on Twitter that Mr. Kokorich’s work in the U.S. space industry was akin to that of a Nazi collaborator. The tweet was later deleted. It said that Mr. Kokorich “quickly changed his views after moving to the United States. As they say, nothing personal, only business. The ‘Free World,’ apparently, opened his eyes to many things. #Vlasovites.” The hashtag refers to a Soviet general who defected to Germany, commanded a pro-Nazi force that styled itself the Russian Liberation Army, and was hanged for treason after the war.

Mr. Kokorich says he’s had a political conscience for almost as long as he’s been an entrepreneur. He started his first company in 1995, at 19, “providing explosives and chemical services to Siberian mining companies.” In four years, “we became the largest supplier of explosives in Siberia.” He then returned to finish his studies at Novosibirsk State University, “the best foundry for physicists in Russia.” Mr. Kokorich, not always self-effacing, says he “quickly became one of the most prominent students.”

He came of age in the 1990s, a member of “probably the only generation in the history of Russia that had the opportunity to grow up exposed to political freedom, democracy, a free press, and respect for human rights.” After Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, Mr. Kokorich grew alarmed by the curtailments of freedoms. He threw in his lot with Open Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s opposition group, “running several programs for it in Siberia.”

In 2005, Mr. Kokorich started a new company, ChudoDom (or Wonder House), which he describes as “a kind of Russian Bed, Bath & Beyond.” It was the largest home-merchandise retail chain in Eastern Russia and, after 2009, in the whole country.

In 2011, at 35, Mr. Kokorich had what he calls his “midlife crisis” and resolved to “do what I truly love—physics and engineering.” He co-founded Dauria Aerospace, Russia’s first private aerospace company. Flush with cash from selling the retail chain, he gave generously to RPR-Parnas, a liberal opposition party. He also contributed “a substantial amount of money to the organizing committee” for rallies and protests against Mr. Putin in Bolotnaya Square, in central Moscow. These protests, which took place in 2011-12, were “the last time when there was real hope about any kind of democracy, or at least a glimmer of it,” Mr. Kokorich says.

In 2014, an aerospace competitor informed the authorities that Mr. Kokorich had bankrolled the Bolotnaya protesters. That’s when he decided to move to California with his wife and children. This move had consequences that were typical of Putin’s Russia: His company was charged with various allegations of financial impropriety, and eventually shut down.

Yet Mr. Kokorich hasn’t withdrawn from the Russian political fray. Angered that “Putin appropriated the right to govern Russia as a czar,” Mr. Kokorich serves as California coordinator for the Free Russia Foundation, a “nonpartisan NGO that seeks to tell American lawmakers the truth about Russia, and help support an American ‘Russia policy’ that promotes freedom and democracy.”

It surely didn’t help Mr. Kokorich’s standing with the Putin regime that he also favors secession for his home region. He is part Buryat, the northernmost of the Mongol peoples, whose land China ceded to Russia in the late 17th century.

“An independent Siberia,” he says, “has a greater chance of becoming a democratic and liberal state than Russia.” Perhaps, but the odds for extracting water from asteroids seem better than either.

Mr. Varadarajan is executive editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.


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Big Overview from the Pentagon
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2021, 05:41:04 AM »
file:///C:/Users/craft/Downloads/mission-space-q4-2020.pdf

DougMacG

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Re: Big Overview from the Pentagon
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2021, 06:54:51 AM »
file:///C:/Users/craft/Downloads/mission-space-q4-2020.pdf

Check the link.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2021, 08:43:44 AM »
Ah, got if from Defense One.  A download.

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George Friedman on War in Space
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2021, 11:05:57 AM »

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China building space missiles and lasers to ‘blind’ US satellites
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2021, 12:39:32 PM »
https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/04/china-building-space-missiles-and-lasers-to-blind-us-satellites-intel-report-says/

China building space missiles and lasers to ‘blind’ US satellites, intel report says

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Russia and China going to moon together
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2021, 09:18:27 PM »
Moon mission. Russia and China revealed their plans for a joint research station on the moon. They intend to construct five structures on the moon’s surface. Exploration of the sites will run until 2025, and construction is expected to be completed by 2035.



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Re: NASA, Space programs, US Space Force
« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2021, 11:46:46 AM »
' China space war threat growing ‘exponentially’

"One reason for the large-scale build-up is that Beijing’s space infrastructure does not distinguish between military and civilian space systems."

They integrate everything into their military systems
  including biomedical research

while billionaires go up in space for joy rides
   they are figuring out how they can blast the same into eternity

while we share out viral research with them , they use the same to genetically alter the viruses as mass murder weapons

We invaded Iraq for less......

And of course we hear at home our biggest threat is blacks cannot get to the DMV and get an ID

and
climate change
    and we must go back to being reliant on opec
    when we were opec free just a yr ago...

yes we are not only being f..t by our mortal enemies
but by (the Dem Party) as well.

 :x