The US Department of Defense, as well as NASA are working hard towards removing barriers before joint civil and military space projects “in response to escalating foreign threats beyond the atmosphere.”
The purpose is to improve efforts to explore the region around the moon and extending the lifespan of satellites. Many details are still under development or remain secret.
Of course, the reason for this militarization are Russia and China:
“The driving force behind the changes are moves by Moscow and Beijing to challenge US space interests anti-satellite weapons, interference, and other potentially hostile technology. According to a series of reports from the Pentagon, the White House National Space Council, and industry study groups, those secret systems, often operated by specially trained military forces aimed at dominance in space, are threatening both U.S. military and private assets. in orbit around the Earth. As a result, the Pentagon plans to tap into civilian expertise and programs to gain an edge in this emerging war combat domain,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
US President Donald Trump’s crown achievement: the US Space Force is in the center of this.
Space Force Chief of Operations General John Raymond unveiled a research partnership with NASA to protect satellites from lasers or cyber-attacks.
According to government and industry briefed on the matter, civil-military cooperation is expected to eventually extend to the defense of planned NASA bases on the lunar surface, as well as to protect U.S. commercial operations aimed at getting there extract water or minerals.
Building on original NASA and military technology, Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the commercial utility of connecting a new propulsion system to an aging satellite with depleted fuel reserves as a way to keep that spacecraft in orbit beyond its intended lifespan.
“We are very excited about where that will go” in terms of government acceptance of refueling and space assembly options, said Tom Wilson, Northrop vice president of strategic space systems. “We have a lot of talks,” he said, “with the Department of Defense, the National Security Community and NASA.”
The most dramatic evidence of the shift in US policy is “looking at the barriers between civil, military, and commercial space in terms of an integrated strategy for our country,” said Pam Melroy, a former astronaut and former Pentagon official.
“Things are changing from ideas to actual programs,” said Joel Sercel, an aerospace entrepreneur who previously worked for the Pentagon and NASA.
All barriers in front of the US Military using Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellite network and space launches are slowly going away.
Other companies, too, will join in on the fun, to “counter Russia and China” by preemptively militarizing space.
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