Content taken from Time, NASA, and Snillor Institute
Subtly, step-by-step, Americans have come to be almost completely dependent on low and high orbiting space satellites. We have come to rely on them in ways they still do not fully understand or appreciate. Even as Russian and Chinese satellites were experimenting with launched projectiles designed to destroy other satellites, the Air Force felt itself struggling to keep up with the demands for high-technology, high intelligence, and powerful imaginations necessary to compete with Russian and Chinese efforts to slowly, but surely, dominate space itself.
Satellites launched, monitored, and controlled by the U.S. Air Force perform a variety of civilian tasks here in our own backyards, on our streets, and in our very homes. From streetlamps linked to GPS (Global Positioning System) Satellites to navigation on the high seas and in the streets and outback, satellites have formed the very backbone of our current existence in the civilian and military worlds. Validating credit card purchases, transferring funds, running up the total on newer computer GPS based cash registers, and of course weather satellites are critical to our lives but, not as critical as 911 telephone calls. Many of the around 650,000 calls made to 911 every day in the U.S. depend on satellites overhead.
Well, we can see just how important satellites are to us [at least we see the very tip of a very deep iceberg] but for all the ways that civilians and the military rely on these little computers orbiting our planet, there’s a horrible fly in the ointment of survival in the 21st Century and beyond. America’s network of well over 1,100 satellites is vulnerable to a disgraceful extent, virtually unprotected from a myriad of hostile actors’ actions here on Mother Earth.
Our military relies on satellites on everything from simple navigation to more advanced artillery, tank operations, coordinated ground operations in combat and long-range missile and bombing strikes on a potential enemy. Can you imagine a carrier fleet at sea without communications or navigation? Imagine that same fleet having to rely on ‘thumb-in-the-air’ guess when it comes to firing ordinance. Launching a nuclear strike or intercepting one is impossible without satellite support. If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you nothing will!
This is the new battleground and will not stop at defending satellites, but will certainly extend to bloodshed in space and on the moon or Mars, in the not too distant future. Sources say that Russia executed an undeclared projectile launch in February 2017 aimed at one of her own derelict satellites just to see if they could hit it. They did. China likewise did this in 2015, destroying a dead satellite of her own, and showing that they are ready, willing, and able to shoot down satellites almost at will.
Indeed, China’s ‘Missile Division‘ formerly of the PLAA [People’s Liberation Army Air Forces Command] is now a distinct and separate branch of the Chinese military, taking their cues directly from the halls of the President [currently Xi Jing Ping] has already begun training specialized units on the ground and in space with weapons that can destroy anything in Earth Orbit. Both Russia and China have deployed fully functional ground-based laser, particle beam, and satellite communications jamming equipment that can disable satellites in short order.
To sum it up, the new arms race is in space and is already well underway. This is why we need a separate and distinct Space Force to protect our very ways of life.