Official insignia of the United States Space Force. Image courtesy of US Space Force.

Space Force: Fact or fiction?

By Kaitlyn Johnson, January 17, 2022

Official insignia of the United States Space Force. Image courtesy of US Space Force.

Space Force: The name sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. The insignia looks ripped off from Star Trek. And the president who launched it is known for over-the-top rhetoric and showy political displays. To the US public, Space Force, if they even know it exists, seems like some kind of joke, and certainly comedians have already poked a lot of fun at America’s newest service branch. But the fact is that Space Force will serve a crucial national security role, and far from being a Trumpian gimmick, it has a long bipartisan history, predating the former president.

Conflict in space may be closer than you think and will have to be managed potentially with new treaties or international agreements. It is not just a warfighting domain, but an opportunity to expand the bounds of science, commerce, and exploration. War will unfold differently than it does on land, and in the sci-fi movies: think more signal jamming (like the static on your old TV) and fewer X-wing battles. It’s not every day that Congress creates a new military branch and Space Force, now two years old, has a lot of serious work to do to define its culture and cadre.

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