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Congress is not saddened by a space force, so what about a space coast guard instead?



This week's congress struck a blow to President Donald Trump's idea of ​​a space force that only allowed $ 15 million to fund the operation. Critics in Congress believe that the administration has not made a good enough case for a new form of military service. But as both the public and civilian space sectors hit more ambitious, even interplanetary plans, a space version of the Coast Guard may prove more useful.

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The American space force was first mentioned in March 2018 by President Donald Trump. Trump, who at that time admitted the idea started as a joke, told an audience of service members: "We can even have a Space Force, develop another, the Space Force. We have Air Force, we get the Space Force."

Okay. A document from February 2019 does a little better work describing the role and missions in a space-based arm in the Pentagon, stating that "DoD must be ready to secure the freedom to operate in space to avert attacks and when It is necessary to defeat the space and counter-trafficking against the US security interests in the United States and its allies and partners. "The Defense Ministry requested $ 72 million in the fiscal year 2020 to stand up for the space force."

Congress's enthusiasm for the Force has been weak, at least, with the big question of whether military arm dedicated to space is a valuable improvement over the division of space missions among the existing armed services.

House of Representatives en argued at the Ministry of Finance's funding request by approving only $ 15 million while expressly stated that it was not for the creation of a space force. In addition, the head of the House's armed service committee has stated that his Space Force proposal will be "different from what the White House proposes."

A US Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules at St. Paul, Alaska.
Photo: US Coast Guard Image of Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean (DVIDS)

The United States could possibly need a kind of Space Force – it's the timing that people disagree with. Is a Space Force something we need to spend money right now? If we are to establish an armed force for space, perhaps a purely defense-focused military force is not quite what we need – at least right now. Maybe we need a cosmic version of the Coast Guard.

The United States Coast Guard was founded in 1790 as an anti-smuggling law enforcement agency under the Department of the Treasury. Now part of the Department of Homeland Security, where it has been since September 11, the Coast Guard consists of 87,000 men and women stationed worldwide. Over the past two centuries, the Coast Guard mission set has shifted to emphasize marine and waterway safety, establishing navigation, search and rescue tools, maritime safety and law enforcement. (We should add that the Coast Guard also has its own problems of being underfunded.)

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Now take this mission and imagine it in space. Orbites, such as low ground and other places, are "ports and waterways" in space, and are often threatened by space waste, radiant sunlight, and other natural and man-made threats. As people risk more often in space, some bad astronauts, cosmonauts or taikonauts will come in trouble, and space search and rescue is a necessity.

The space is extremely dangerous, and to create confidence in the safety of space travel, the United States will need a government agency with the authority nail down the rules of space security and investigate major accidents.

Finally, although Senator Ted Cruz's concern for "rumpirates" is a step too far at this time, we will eventually need a law enforcement arm to operate in space.

A Coast Guard unit is carrying out a rescue exercise on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Virginia. Some day somebody has to do it in the room.
Image: Coastguard helper Trey Clifton (DVIDS)

Unlike the Space Force, the US government and private industry could use a spacecraft right now. On Earth, commercial and recreational sailors enjoy the peace of mind that they can rely on the Coast Guard if they run into trouble. The US government has promised to return to the moon by 2024, while commercial space units SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and others plan to put people in space – but no one is out in the depths of space if these manned missions need help .

A spacecraft could even be brought up with the ultimate mission: defend the earth against giant, civilization-ending asteroids, comets and other space objects.

A spacecraft and space force are not mutually exclusive: America needs both a fleet and a coast guard. There is justification for both an alien and space force, and a space force is only a matter of time.

The question is, what should we do first? If Congress decides, we don't need a Space Force yet, maybe it should look at establishing an alien.


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