Space has been called the final frontier. Indeed, in the last century, it has become the next great front of exploration for mankind, thanks to huge leaps in technology. But movies like Star Wars got us thinking, "Could space be the next war front, too?" A recent proposal from the House Armed Forces Committee certainly predicts that it could be.
The plan recently approved by the committee and championed by Rep. John Rogers (R-AL) calls for the creation of a Grand Army of the Republic--ahem--Space Corps, operating under the Air Force and independent from NASA. A similar plan was developed in 2001 just a few months before 9/11 and was thus abandoned. But now, with China and Russia making significant headway in the space military arena, the Armed Forces committee has revived the proposal, despite opposition from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.
The United States' interest in developing armed space tech has always been high (such as Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, itself jokingly referred to as "Star Wars"), but it has increased in recent days. Under the latest budget proposal, Air Force leaders have asked Congress for a 20% increase in spending for space research and development--amounting to $7.7 billion in additional funding.
Former astronaut and leader of the Man Vehicle Laboratory at MIT Jeffery Hoffman says this is necessary. "Defending space assets is critical. When many people talk about militarization of space, they think of offensive weapons. I think the critical issue is being able to defend our communication and navigation assets.”
So long as the Space Corps does not consist of cloned humans with chips implanted in their brains that could cause them to turn on us and destroy the United States to set up an evil Empire, it all seems fine to me. Regardless, they should definitely wear Clone Trooper armor simply because it looks cool. The House has yet to vote on the plan (which it will do after the July 4th recess), but that should be included in the final proposal.
Comment below: Do you think the US needs a Space Corps? Why or why not?
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!