American Security of Space
The moment Neil Armstrong’s feet touched the surface of the moon, humanity’s future has been clear: space! Humanity’s collective imagination throughout the 1950s and 60s looked spaceward, and many of those dreams are now a reality. Global positioning satellites, global telecommunications, high-resolution reconnaissance photos of anywhere on the planet, advanced scientific instruments that detect nuclear explosions or earthquakes, private companies planning manned missions to space, the moon and mars – the future of space is open to all of humanity because of the investments made in American excellence! Our own future is far more in doubt.
If Americans want to play a role in space, we must ensure there’s predictability and order beyond Earth’s surface. Just like in all serious matters of global security and stability, the US must play a key role of leadership, stability and guidance in space. One small portion of that role is creating a Space Force that ensures American preeminence and safety in the solar system. Without that small step and others, there may be no place for America in the future of space.
The exciting possibilities space holds can sound more like science fiction. Trade, transportation and mining all promise exciting technological advancements. But those come with threats, dangers and rivals. If the US doesn’t invest early and heavily, we may find ourselves on the losing end of the space race.
For instance, mining. Asteroids in our own solar system carry a staggering abundance of raw materials. Some experts estimate that a single one-kilometer diameter asteroid could contain something like $150 billion worth of precious metals. Asteroids containing gold and silver can be found throughout the solar system, alongside other beneficial resources like iron, copper, zinc, and many others. Not only could those be wildly valuable here on Earth, they could aid in the creation of structures in space.
It’s impossible to imagine every way in which space could improve life, but even trans-planetary shipment could be drastically improved. A proposed technique called orbital-momentum could deliver a package or a shipment into space and then across the Earth from orbit. Fuel would only be used while being launched from Earth. If perfected, it could drastically cut down on shipping times and costs. It’s enough to make one wonder what other impossible-sounding, world-changing technologies await us!
But these benefits are not guaranteed. To ensure these projects in space get accomplished, they must have security and stability. Here on Earth, America’s primacy on the blue-water oceans has kept shipping lanes open, guaranteed global free trade, and encouraged international cooperation and development. The right to make the rules of the seas has followed from having control over the seas. Why would the rules of space be any different? The US must lead the way in developing a Space Force – a shield that would protect American technology interests, while securing space for us and our allies.
Part and parcel with a Space Force, the United States should pursue space-based missile defense systems to address modern threats. The creation of the Space Force alongside a space-based missile defense system would give the United States immediate dominance over space. The implementation of space-based missile defense systems would guarantee not only American security on Earth but also secure American economic and scientific interests in the solar system.
The importance of exploring space goes far beyond the ideas of scientific discovery. Our solar system will be the proving ground for economic, military and social clashes in the generations to come. We must secure our strength and primacy in space if we want a stable future.