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US Space Command

Topics Covered:

Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

US Space Command

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Space force- composition and functions.

For Mains: Space force- the idea, concerns, challenges and the need for free outer- space.

 

Context: US has launched Space Command.

It is the newest US military combatant command.

 

Key facts:

  1. The US Space command will be the 11th combatant command, the first one to be created in more than a decade.  
  2. The space command will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened.
  3. Space command will soon be followed by the establishment of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  4. The space force will organize, train and equip warriors to support the Space Command’s mission.

 

Why it is not a “good idea”?

  • Another military arm would only compound the organisational challenges facing the U.S. armed services.
  • It could undercut ongoing missions.
  • It could very well increase budgetary allocations in the future.
  • A space corps could undermine American efforts in the domain of joint warfare.

 

Why it may not feasible to have a space force?

  • The fundamental difficulty of a space corps is that the physical environment of space is not conducive to the conduct of military operations without incurring serious losses in the form of spacecraft and debris. And despite efforts to make spacecraft more fuel efficient, the energy requirements are enormous.
  • The technical demands of defending assets in space make the possibility of dominance and space as a domain for war-fighting a sort of chimera.

  

Why space has become so important?

  • Space is a “war-fighting domain” and global powers like Russia and China are already treating it as such.
  • Besides, the stakes are high. Much of our 21st-century economy and lifestyle — from bank transactions to weather forecasting to television service to the GPS directions — depends on satellites functioning round the clock and without interruption. The military depends on them too.
  • In 2007, China shot down one of its own satellites — mission accomplished in its own right, it also littered orbit with potentially destructive space debris. Many saw the operation as a veiled display of military power.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

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