back to article Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, on Thursday formally announced that his administration hopes to bankroll, no, not universal healthcare for all Americans. Not better support for armed forces veterans. Not improved public education. No, here in the Land of the Free, we're getting a space force by 2020. It …

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Interesting

On one side, Russia has been calling their strategic missile forces "Space Force" for ages. In their case this is supposedly(*) just a name. So this move on the USA side is not entirely unexpected.

One another... If this announcement is not just marketing (as it is supposedly for now in the Russian case), this effectively takes out USA out of several treaties including the Outer Space treaty and moves the doomsday clock into seconds to midnight space.

(*)I am saying supposedly, because Russia and prior to that USSR has a long history of getting as far as prototypes for weapons which violate the Outer Space Treaty - Uragan, Polyus, etc

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Re: Interesting

I'm sure Russia has a Space Spetznaz team all ready to go if they need to rapidly board & take over ISS.

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Re: Interesting

Developing space weapon system prototypes is a good way of keeping engineers occupied and the 'big rock falling out of sky' scenarios tend not to give long lead times for finding any solution.

Deploying space weapon systems in contravention of international treaty is when it becomes a problem.

It's also F**king stupid to put these highly complex (& lethal) things in a LEO filled with junk where you can't put physical hands on at very short notice.

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Re: Interesting

On one side, Russia has been calling their strategic missile forces "Space Force" for ages. In their case this is supposedly(*) just a name. So this move on the USA side is not entirely unexpected.

Are we seeing the Russian's using Reagan's Star Wars strategy against the US?

Looks that way, although it depends on how much the US will throw at it. $8bn isn't even a rounding error on F35 cost overruns, and won't buy anything other than a logo, a few buildings and bases, an entire military command structure, and lots of gold braid, For the strategy to succeed, Russia will need to create a convincing impression that they have, or are developing a space-capable fighter able to menace satellites and the X37. Then watch as the US throw a trillion dollars into creating a real life X Wing, and an orbital base for them.

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Re: Interesting

Developing space weapon system prototypes is a good way of keeping engineers occupied

All the concept work was done decades ago. By Gerry Anderson.

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Concepts...

NASA already got there. No need for anything new, just ask J. Michael Straczynski...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfury#Real_world_interest

Now this is what I think the Orange one wants:

I give you..... SpaceForce 1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-class_destroyer

Have a good weekend all....

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Interesting

"It's also F**king stupid to put these highly complex (& lethal) things in a LEO filled with junk where you can't put physical hands on at very short notice."

Maybe they'll skin Trump and use his hide as shielding, I'm sure there's enough to go round.

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Facepalm

Star Fleet

Actually, the problem being addressed here is that the USA already has a "space force" of sorts. The problem is that it is distributed over several armed services and government agencies with no central coordination. Anyone who's worked for a large company with different divisions doing the same thing knows how horribly inefficient and toxic that is.

All this Space Force does is provide one organization providing this central task. It's gonna create tech jobs and you gotta like that.

Russia and China already have (or are working on) systems that can destroy U.S. and U.K. satellites, including explosive-laden satellites already in orbit shadowing their satellite targets. With a single command they move towards their target much like a magnetic mine, and BOOM - no more HBO!

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Re: Interesting

"$8bn isn't even a rounding error on F35 cost overruns, and won't buy anything other than a logo, a few buildings and bases, an entire military command structure, and lots of gold braid,"

I was thinking along similar lines, $8B is barely enough to get the working party set up to design the new uniforms and it's probably not enough to even start planning the 6th side of the Pentagon they'll be wanting to exclusively occupy. Then there'll be another marketing budget to rebrand the Pentagon as the Hexagon.

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Devil

Re: Star Fleet

"Actually, the problem being addressed here is that the USA already has a "space force" of sorts. The problem is that it is distributed over several armed services and government agencies with no central coordination."

Kinda what I was thinking too.

Back in the 80's I was indirectly involved with GPS development. The sub I was on had GPS gear literally "tie wrapped" on top of certain cabinets, wired into the ship's antennas and communications systems, etc.. GPS/Navstar was a Navy project as I understand it, but the Air Force was probably in on it as well.

In any case, having a single military service that's directly responsible for space-based "things" associated with the military is probably a good idea. The Army Air Corps became the Air Force in the 1950's as I recall. So now it's just another branch of the military service that specializes in space-based things.

Perhaps we'll see some actual space ships that can take off, orbit, land, refuel, and do it again, and again, on regular missions, like airplanes. With people flying them.

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Re: Interesting

Deploying space weapon systems in contravention of international treaty is when it becomes a problem.

FYI: Polyus was deployed. Just not successfully (someone forgot to account for it being hoisted on top of Energia bottom up). So it is indeed a very fine line which has been crossed a few times in the past.

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Re: Star Fleet

Russia and China already have (or are working on) systems that can destroy U.S. and U.K. satellites, including explosive-laden satellites already in orbit shadowing their satellite targets.

Any quotes, pointers, whatnots? I keep hearing Iraqi WMDs when reading that.

And my, people do have such short memories. Dubbya Bush's administration declared space a US possession in 2004-05 IIRC. I expect that since the US was relying in large part on the Russians to provision the ISS, the Russians happened to disagree, and likewise the Chinese failed to agree.

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Alien

Great, Thanks El! Reg

I now a images of a orange coloured Marvin and the Martian, sticking a flag into mars saying

I'm here to make Mars great again

I wonder if they will take inspiration from storm troopers for uniform ideas.

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I'll go with the subhead

The way things are going in the US of A they will be taking inspiration from Starship Troopers* for uniform ideas.

*The movie of course.

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Re: I'll go with the subhead

I prefer the 1978 "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" 1978 Sarah Brightman record featuring Hot Gossip.

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Happy

Re: Great, Thanks El! Reg

Surely the Space Force is nothing to do with either Star Wars or Starship Troopers.

We're talking Jet Morgan here.

Jet: "Lemme, switch on the Tele-Viewer."

Lemme: "Contact!"

Doc: "G'day mate it's bonza to be on the bloomin' Moon."

etc.

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Re: I'll go with the subhead

I prefer the 1978 "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" 1978 Sarah Brightman record featuring Hot Gossip.

I must confess I upvoted your post, but you do know there's a "post anonymously" check box?

My excuse is that I was a fifteen your old lad in 1978, and Ms Brightman doing that chicken dance thing in a catsuit, backed by Hot Gossip....well, I thought that was a most marvellous sight.

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Re: I'll go with the subhead

I prefer the 1978 "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" 1978 Sarah Brightman record featuring Hot Gossip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnhqaPTruOM

I think it's been remixed, but still funky disco cool

Next up, Nightflight to Venus by Boney M

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While I like the references to Starship Troopers (R.A. Heinlein), I think references to Space Cadet (also R.A. Heinlein) would be more appropriate in this case.

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The sub-head was the best bit of the article, well the most believable at any rate.

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While I like the references to Starship Troopers (R.A. Heinlein), I think references to Space Cadet (also R.A. Heinlein) would be more appropriate in this case.

Muppets in Space is probably closer

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PIIGS IIIN SPAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!!

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Spaceballs !

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Anonymous Coward

Nah..

POOOOOOORRRKKKK IIINN SPAAAAAACEEEEE!!!!

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Alien

My name is John Crichton An astronaut

Help me

Listen please

Is there anybody out there who can hear me?

I'm being hunted by an insane military commander

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I was sort of hoping for "Space Marines"... tribute to the science fiction/science pulp writers of decades past.

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Since the references to Starship Troopers are to the movie, not so much the original novel, I think they're appropriate. The movie presented the milieu as explicitly fascist; the novel, on the other hand, assumed democratic safeguards of a sort rather than a tyranny, but was genuinely presenting the idea that a kind of fascism might be a legitimate way for a nation to survive under suitably difficult circumstances.

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Spaceballs ? Nah!

Chuck Chunder of the Space Patrol, that's who.

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Re: Spaceballs ? Nah!

You're all way too optimistic. The name we should be thinking of is Zapp Brannigan.

"My strategy is so simple, an idiot could have devised it."

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Facepalm

Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

Just think Muppets!

The analogy is pretty decent:

- Hollow

- Brainless

- Someone has a hand up their back

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Re: Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

The US tried this in 1978 without too much success

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vroANVFNcFY

At least in 1978 they had something the current administration lacks; the ability to put a person into space. Now they have to use Uber.

Of course it is all Obama's fault.

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Re: Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

That "comedy" was awful. I'm surprised it didn't run for at least ten years.

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Re: Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

BLUNDER! I am going to correct myself before someone else does . In 1978 the USA didn't have the facilities to put a person in space.

The last Saturn V launch was in July 1975; the joint Apollo - Soyuz test project. The next US manned launch was the first shuttle mission in 1981.

I still think Space Force was better TV than the real thing.

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Re: Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

Thanks! Never heard of SF before. Had to watch it through, it was so bad it was good.

Interesting: The bridge AI computer (D.O.R.C.) speaking with a German accent just like the Robin Williams voiced Dr. Know in Spielberg's AI. Coincidence?

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Re: Spaaaaaace Foooooorce!

Nein!

My personal favorite is in Get smart when all the over the speaker voices in NASA is in german. :)

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Come over to the Dark Side....

BUT... Where will the money for all this come from?

Oh right, Joe and Jane Doe.

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Don't worry, Joe and Jane, you'll still get all the healthcare your government thinks you're worth.

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Meanwhile, Defense contractors have broke out the champaign at the thought of all the new barrels they will be putting their snouts into.

Can we have Pile Of Gold icon ?

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"Come over to the Dark Side....

BUT... Where will the money for all this come from?

Oh right, Joe and Jane Doe."

I await my share of the contract with baited breath...

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Anonymous Coward

Defense contractors have broke out the....

I think it's pronounced champaggin (since we're talking about space).

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Re: Defense contractors have broke out the....

I think it's pronounced champaggin

Shameful to think this Futurama Branigan reference actually went over everyones heads.

Ha'h an upvote

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Inner Space?

Outer Space starts at 100km up, which isn't even past the atmosphere... so where/what is Inner Space?

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Re: Inner Space?

A crap movie with Dennis Quaid from 1987.

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Re: Inner Space?

In answer to your question; inner space is a large pocket of mostly vacuum, the tiny amount of material to be found is tissue based, these pockets are frequently bounded by cranial bone most often belonging to members of the upper reaches of politics.

N.B. One of the largest know pockets of inner space has the phenomenon of floating within a har like orange coloured outer layer.

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Re: Inner Space?

It was a *great* movie. It's got Quaid buck-naked in the street, some none-more-Eighties nightclub stuff from Meg Ryan, a perfectly cast Martin Short turned up to 11, The Cowboy, and a Sam Cooke-heavy soundtrack. Not to mention beating "Predator" to the Best Visual Effects Oscar (though reasonable minds may differ on that call, it definitely deserved the nomination).

Dear God, what more do people /want/?

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Re: Inner Space?

You put your finger on it, Martin Short was the problem. ;-)

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Re: Inner Space?

@21st Century Peon

It was a *great* movie. It's got Quaid buck-naked in the street, some none-more-Eighties nightclub stuff from Meg Ryan, a perfectly cast Martin Short turned up to 11, The Cowboy, and a Sam Cooke-heavy soundtrack. Not to mention beating "Predator" to the Best Visual Effects Oscar (though reasonable minds may differ on that call, it definitely deserved the nomination).

Dear God, what more do people /want/?

Meg Ryan buck-naked in the street.

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Coat

Re: Inner Space?

"Outer Space starts at 100km up, which isn't even past the atmosphere... so where/what is Inner Space?"

Somewhere in the vicinity of 'Uranus'

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Which is worse ...

... dumping $8x10⁹ down the toilet or the proposed logos?

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Re: Which is worse ...

>>Logo<<

I'll go for the middle row, right-hand side logo - very Wallace & Gromit looking rocket.

Go Spaaaace Fooooorce! (extra vowels mandatory)

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