It looks like the stuff of science fiction becomes more of a reality every day. Get ready to learn all about the Space Force a new branch of the US military.
As you might’ve guessed, the United States Space Force (or USSF) is all about our affairs in outer space.
However, there are still certain that the USSF will and will not do. Here are seven quick facts about the Space Force that’ll give you the quick and dirty on this new national endeavor.
1. The motto is Semper Supra.
The official Latin motto of the military branch is “Semper Supra,” which means “always above.”
It’s a pretty fittingly valiant slogan for an organization that’s all about space exploration.
Although, there’s sort of an underlying ominous tone to the idea of someone always being above you.
2. The initial budget is just over $15 billion.
True to any space program’s nature, the Space Force costs a pretty penny.
For reference, the entire Apollo program cost over $25.4 billion alone adjust for inflation, so consider the USSF a discount in that regard.
3. It’s led by a Chief of Space Operations.
Yes, that is a real title someone can have in the US military.
Currently, the office is held by General John W. Raymond – who was sworn in as the first Chief of Space Operations (CSO) in January of 2020.
4. They won’t be battling in space.
Contrary to the term “force,” the USSF won’t be leading any battalions out there in outer space. Director of the Aerospace Security Project Todd Harrison told NPR:
“It’s not about putting military service members in space, it has nothing to do with NASA, it’s not about protecting Earth from asteroids or aliens.”
Currently, the Space Force is far more concerned with protecting assets – like satellites and bases – and facilitating communications and GPS missile targeting than suiting up soldiers for combat in space.
5. It’s not the first space force out there.
Russia was actually the first country to establish a space force, forming the Russian Space Forces in the 1990s.
China also has also had a space force of its own, the PLA Strategic Support Force, since 2015.
Still, the US wasn’t entirely out of the loop here. The USSF has actually existed (although in a very minor form) since 1982 within the US Air Force as the Air Force Space Command.
6. The first doctrine aims to define what a “Spacepower” is.
The USSF’s inaugural doctrine, published in June 2020, firmly establishes its status as a military branch.
Terms like “Space Warfighters” and the “Art of Space Warfare” pepper an actual government document that sounds like it belongs in the next season of The Mandalorian.
7. The seal looks like the Star Trek Starfleet logo.
Sci-fi fans will be pleased to see how similar the USSF’s logo looks to the Starfleet logo from Star Trek. Though the uncanny resemblance certainly opens itself up for tons of top-tier memes, the symbol is actually based on the already existing Air Force Space Command logo. The seal’s design has also been used by space-affiliated organizations since 1961 – which predates Star Trek by five years.
The creation of the Space Force begs the question: does sci-fi imitate real life, or does real life influence sci-fi? In this case, it seems like a little bit of both have their place in advancing human discovery.
What do you think of the Space Force? Is it a useful endeavor or a gigantic waste of money? Let us know in the comments!