Space Force Is a Go for Launch

Written by Adam English
Posted December 10, 2019

While the impeachment circus dominates headlines and another government shutdown is right around the corner, a bipartisan defense bill is cruising towards being passed.

A handful of major changes made it into the bill after months of negotiations, including 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers and a 3.1% pay increase for the troops — the largest in a decade.

Of particular note in the $738 billion bill is the official creation of the Space Force.

For the first time since the Air Force was separated from the Army in the aftermath of World War II, a new branch of the military will be created.

The need for it couldn’t be more dire.

The new bill would allocate $72.4 million to establish the service and its headquarters while authorizing the Air Force to transfer personnel into it.

The head of the Space Force will report to the Air Force secretary and would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This is just a start, with an expected date of 2023 for this initial phase to be complete and the Space Force to be fully operational.

Unfortunately, the USA is effectively the last major player out of the gate.

It didn’t have to be this way, but after a good start we have consistently lagged behind in military capabilities in space.

The U.S. Air Force got started on the necessary technology in the 1950s with tests of air-launched ballistic missiles. A later modification to one of them was used in a mock attack that got within four miles of Explorer 6 — an early scientific satellite.

That’s close enough for a nuclear warhead to knock something in orbit out of commission.

Further tests were done, and lasers and masers were considered, but the tech just wasn’t up to the task and the programs were shelved one by one.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that militarization of space came back to the U.S. military’s priority list when news of a successful space program in Soviet Russia broke in the West.

Another missile was pulled off the shelf, so to speak, and modified. A test was done once and was a success.

Once again, a lull in development. Once again, the U.S. fell behind.

That lasted until China shocked the world in 2007 with a direct hit on one of its weather satellites. Since then, it has tested two other potential anti-satellite weapons.

It has also developed what it claims is a space junk removal mini-satellite. However, it is a perfect dual-use tool — it can just as easily approach and modify or destroy other satellites with its robotic arm.

Then there is Russia, which is rapidly developing and deploying hypersonic ballistic missiles and has tested new anti-satellite weapons.

Even India has gotten in on the game with a successful test this year.

This is just the start. Cheaper launch costs and smaller and lighter satellite technology promises to see a rapid deployment of military assets in orbit within the very near future.

China and Russia are ahead of the curve and the USA needs to step up its game to retain any semblance of military advantage in an age dominated by space-based data connections and reconnaissance.

The creation of the U.S. Space Force is a big step in that direction. Thankfully, we also have a far more robust and advanced private sector to create what is needed for this new front.

In fact, companies are already developing exactly what the Space Force will need.

The Wealth Warrior’s Jason Simpkins has been covering this trend for his readers for some time. Check out what he has to say.

Take care,

adam english sig

Adam English

follow basic @AdamEnglishOC on Twitter

Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page

*Follow Outsider Club on Facebook and Twitter.

Heal Your Ailing Portfolio Body