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What is the future of space forces?

space force military U.S. military reconnaissance satellite space war ar armed forces

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#1
BarkEater93

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U.S. government officials at the Pentagon have recently publicly discussed proposals to create a new, sixth branch of the American military --- the U.S. Space Force, which will be intended to have control over military operations in outer space.
 
Since I have joined this forum, I have long talked about the militarization of space. War is an ubiquitous part of the human condition. Wherever humanity goes, war goes with it. Humans have taken their first steps into outer space, and now the military is stepping up its presence there.
 
So this raises a lot of questions. I’m intrigued to know what you all think. If the U.S. follows through with its plans, how do you think this space force will evolve? What other countries will progress with their own space forces? Will war be fought in outer space in the coming decades?
 


#2
BarkEater93

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One massive advantage in outer space is that you can see the entire Earth's surface. If you had the command and control structure of your force in space you would have an enormous edge.


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#3
Sciencerocks

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The space force will allow humanity to develop ships with the tech(engines, shielding, and at the scales(size!)) needed to move people out of low earth orbit and outwards into space.

 

I can't see this happening outside of tin can sized vehicles outside of the military. This is why I support it so strongly.  Do you really believe that aircraft today would be anywhere near as advanced if it wasn't for the military? I don't think so. The military developed jet engines and every single element that helped make it possible to hull humans across the globe.(Many test pilots in the miltiary died to make it so!) Look back at ships...Do you really think we would've crossed the oceans if there wasn't an military and government backed angle to it? Fuck no.

 

Same could be said about most things in our society.



#4
Alislaws

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The space force will allow humanity to develop ships with the tech(engines, shielding, and at the scales(size!)) needed to move people out of low earth orbit and outwards into space.

Why?

 

The military is mission focused. there are 0 enemies outside of earth orbit (as far as we know! ​*close encounters music*), so the space force will concentrate on preparing to destroy enemy satellites, destroying enemy launch capability, and on using orbital domination to drop nukes/ICBMS/Drones onto targets anywhere in the world with potentially very little warning/chance of interception. 

 

They ​might possibly​ decide to establish some sort of base on the moon, but only if it was somehow going to be cheaper in the long run for attacking stuff in earth orbit than launching stuff from earth. 

 

There is no good military reason to put any humans into space at all. It will be drones and remote operation all the way. By the time we have any potentially hostile colonies established outside of earth we will have good enough AI that humans in the space force still won't make sense. 

 

I like Sci-fi a lot, but the idea of a "space navy" where people move through space on something like a submarine, full of crew will never happen. Armor makes no sense, its too heavy, and there is almost no cover in space, so people can hit your slow moving armoured target as soon as they can see it. Speed, manoeuvrability and massive numbers of small-as-possible craft would be the winning strategy in any space based conflict of the next few decades. All of that favours automation, not humans. 

Space force or no space force.



#5
BarkEater93

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Would it be a good idea to have your space force completely automated; the protection of your nation solely in the hands of machines? Especially if that force is hundreds of miles above you and not easily accessible, watching over the entire Earth? I find it hard to believe how an AI can replace a human commander. And a commander needs to see his battlefield, which in this case is the entire planet. And that means being in earth orbit. Communication links between satellites and bases can be cut, machines can malfunction, etc… Humans will always be needed in the battlefield. With robots, less people may be needed, but some will always be there.
 
Military bases will eventually be set up on the Moon. There are some things space forces will develop that it won’t be able to do floating around in zero gravity, but still needs the full earth in its range for.  


#6
Alislaws

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Would it be a good idea to have your space force completely automated; the protection of your nation solely in the hands of machines? Especially if that force is hundreds of miles above you and not easily accessible, watching over the entire Earth? I find it hard to believe how an AI can replace a human commander. And a commander needs to see his battlefield, which in this case is the entire planet. And that means being in earth orbit. Communication links between satellites and bases can be cut, machines can malfunction, etc… Humans will always be needed in the battlefield. With robots, less people may be needed, but some will always be there.
 
Military bases will eventually be set up on the Moon. There are some things space forces will develop that it won’t be able to do floating around in zero gravity, but still needs the full earth in its range for.  

 

If one space force is automated, and the other is not, then the automated one will have smaller, more manoeuvrable craft, which can survive much higher g-forces for much faster acceleration. They wont need to worry about breathable atmospheres, or supplies or empty space inside for humans to move around in. 

 

Even with humans in the pilot seat, if you hack your enemy's computers they'll still be dead (are you sure you wish to vent atmosphere Y/N?), so you're almost as vulnerable to hacking either way. (although you ​could​ build ships with no external communications, which would be unhackable, but would need a human on-board, so would be slow and fragile. 

 

The human eye is a useless sensor for space combat, so if your communications links and satellites etc. were taken out you'd be effectively blind if you were on earth, or sitting in orbit. 

 

In space warfare within the next 50 or so years all the people involved will be sitting on the ground, or underground in places like NORAD, controlling things remotely. 

Anyone in orbit when the shooting starts will be dead very quickly with no way to dodge or hide, and no armour that would be useful against a missile launched from earth. 

If your space station had enough point defence it might be ok, but we're getting closer to workable laser tech, so I'd give it 10 years before that window closes if there is an incentive to develop anti-space station lasers, which there will be if the USA starts militarizing space. 



#7
Jakob

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The military is mission focused. there are enemies outside of earth orbit (as far as we know! ​*close encounters music*), so the space force will concentrate on preparing to destroy enemy satellites, destroying enemy launch capability, and on using orbital domination to drop nukes/ICBMS/Drones onto targets anywhere in the world with potentially very little warning/chance of interception. 

We need to take the Martian oil and bring freedom and democracy to the Martians. 


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