Guardians, aliens and space, oh my!

Jessica Evans
Mar 28, 2023 8:04 AM PDT
5 minute read
military and space

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri.


Ah, space exploration, the final frontier! Or, more accurately, the final place we haven’t fully ruined yet. But hey, at…

Ah, space exploration, the final frontier! Or, more accurately, the final place we haven't fully ruined yet. But hey, at least we have the Guardians to help us out, right? What could possibly go wrong when we mix space and the military? Don't answer that. Instead, let’s dive into the military's role in America's space programs all the way back to the very beginning.

A brief history of space exploration

Let's blast off into the wild world of space exploration, where the sky's the limit and everything's up for grabs. From the ancient civilizations mapping out the stars to the modern-day space race, humans have been obsessed with space for centuries. And who can blame us? It's a vast, mysterious frontier that's just begging to be explored.

But what you may not know is that the military has been involved in space exploration since we first set sights on conquering, err - exploring - the skies above. That's right, the same folks who brought you camo and dog tags have also been busy launching rockets and satellites into orbit. It all started with the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, by those sneaky Soviets back in 1957. And you know America couldn't just sit back and let the Commies have all the fun, so we created our own space program to compete.

Of course, NASA has always been the cool kid on the block when it comes to civilian space exploration. They're the ones who put a man on the moon, after all. But behind the scenes, the military has been running its own secret space programs. Who knows what kind of crazy stuff they're up to up there? Alien invasions? Cosmic karaoke parties? It's anyone's guess.

Here’s what happens if an astronaut’s helmet comes off in space combat.

So, while the military may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of space exploration, they've been there all along, quietly doing their thing. Who knows what kind of amazing discoveries they'll make next? One thing's for sure: the sky's not the limit for these guys. They're aiming for the stars.

Lieutenant Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander of U.S. Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, speaks to cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy April 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)

The military's role in American space programs

Hold on to your helmets, folks, because the military is doing some serious business up there in space. We're not just talking about maintaining a few satellites for navigation and TV. We're talking about a whole network of space goodies that the military has a hand in. That's right, they're responsible for keeping all those satellites orbiting around the Earth. And what do those satellites do, you ask? Oh, just a little thing called communication, navigation, surveillance and reconnaissance. No big deal.

The military is also up there conducting classified missions. That's right, they're monitoring potential threats and gathering intelligence. We're not saying they're fighting aliens or anything, but we're also not saying they're not fighting aliens. It's all classified, so who knows what they're up to?

Pros and cons

The military's involvement in interstellar exploration is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it's great to have the military's resources and expertise to help tackle the challenges of mapping the heavens. After all, the DoD has the latest techand equipment, and their missions often push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. Plus, they're responsible for some pretty epic space parties. We're talking zero gravity beer pong, people.

But on the other hand, there are concerns about the military's presence in space leading to an arms race. Because if there's one thing we need more of, it's weapons in orbit. And let's not forget about the risk of creating even more space debris. We've already got enough space junk up there to make George Lucas blush, so let's not make it worse.

And then there's the Space Force. Yes, THE Space Force. It's like the Avengers, but without the cool costumes. Some people are worried that creating a separate military branch for space could lead to even more militarization of space. But others argue that it's necessary to protect our interests up there, and that space is the next frontier for warfare. We're thinking a space battle with laser guns and X-wing fighters is probably in order.

Overall, the military's involvement in space exploration is a double-edged lightsaber. It can lead to some amazing advancements and discoveries, but it also has the potential to cause some serious problems. So, let's hope that the military uses their powers for good and not for evil. And if they do end up saving us from an intergalactic invasion, let's hope they throw another epic space party to celebrate.

Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond established Space Operations Command (SpOC), the U.S. Space Force's first of three Field Commands, during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Oct. 21, 2020. (U.S. Space Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong)

An eye to the stars

The future of military space operations is going to be out of this world. Literally. We're talking about soldiers in spacesuits, laser beams shooting across the cosmos, who knows, maybe battles on the moons of Jupiter? The military's role in space exploration is only going to get bigger, bolder, and more badass. But seriously, there are some real challenges that the military will have to face in the years to come. As space becomes more crowded, the military will have to work even harder to keep those satellites up and running. And let's not forget about the space debris, which is becoming a bigger problem every day. We don't want to end up like Wall-E, floating around in a sea of garbage.

But with challenges come opportunities. The military is already working on new technologies that will make exploration more efficient and effective. They're exploring new propulsion systems, developing better spacesuits, and even working on galactic habitats that could be used for long-term missions. And of course, there's the Space Force, those Guardians of the sky.

 So, what does the future hold? It's hard to say for sure, but one thing is certain: it's going to be epic. We're talking about exploring planets, discovering new resources, and maybe even encountering (more?) alien life forms. And who knows, maybe we'll finally get to use those lightsabers we've been dreaming about. The military will be part of it all.


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