(NewsSpace.com) – In December 2019, former President Donald Trump signed the United States Space Force Act into law, establishing the sixth branch of the US military — the Space Force. While at the time, it received quite a bit of ridicule, that is no longer the case. Now, the newest military branch is taking steps to avoid a war in space — something that, thanks to ever-advancing technology, isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Chief of the US Space Force, General Chance Saltzman, spoke exclusively with Newsweek about the possibility of war in outer space. He compared the possibility of war on air, land, and sea, and noted that it could be far more destructive. Saltzman explained that is because anything shot down out of the air could fall to land, and if a ship is attacked, it can sink, but debris in outer space would continue to float around, posing a dangerous threat for an indiscernible amount of time.
To that end, Saltzman, who is only the second to hold his position, said it’s important for the Space Force “to deter the conflict,” establishing “protection before there’s a need to protect.” To meet this need, the general has established “competitive endurance,” consisting of three tenets.
First, Saltzman said there needs to be a number of high-end surveillance sensors, ones that can detect activity in space, in real-time, to “avoid operational surprise.” That includes the use of radars, optical telescopes, and a method of data collection.
The second tenet requires the Space Force to adopt a deterrence strategy. That means creating and/or securing a stronger network consisting of hundreds of satellites, “chang[ing] the targeting calculus for the adversary.” Finally, he said the branch needs to develop a method of eliminating the adversary’s capabilities, but in a manner that doesn’t backfire on Earth or outer space in a negative manner equivalent to a Pyrrhic victory.
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