When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed it heats up. This heating up produces a streak of light and is termed a meteor. When a meteor is bright enough, about the brightness of Venus or brighter, it becomes a fireball. Sometimes these fireballs explode in the atmosphere, becoming bolides. These bolides are bright enough to be seen even during the day.
Studying bolides as they pass through the atmosphere can help model larger asteroids, something of interest to the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) which is run by NASA. These asteroids can be deadly if they are large enough, and learning how to predict their behavior is essential to protecting our planet from a devastating impact with long-term implications for the survival of many species on Earth.
In October of 2018, the Trump administration announced the creation of the U.S. Space Force (USSF), previously known as the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). The decision was formalized on December 20th, 2019, with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 (NDAA 2020). Since then, the USSF has taken steps to establish all the particulars of an independent service branch.
This included the creation of a logo and a motto (reminiscent of Starfleet and “Semper Supra!”), a headquarters, a recruiting video, and a training program. They even conducted their first joint mission with the USAF, sending the X-37B to space to test a number of technology demonstrators. And in honor of its one-year anniversary, the VP Pence announced that it has chosen what it will call USSF service members – Guardians!
The United States and Russia/USSR have been adversaries for a long time. Their heated rivarly stretches back to the waning days of WW2, when the enormous Red Army was occupying large swathes of eastern Europe, and the allies recognized the inherent threat.
The Cold War followed, when the two nations aimed an absurd number of nuclear warheads at each other. Then came the Space Race, when both nations vied for the prestige of making it to the Moon.
The US won that race, but the rivalry didn’t cool down.
Previously, the US Space Force was to be headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. The revised approach, instituted by the Department of the Air Force and the Office of Secretary of Defense, takes into account the emerging organizational structure of the USSF and the impact it will have. This move expands the number of possible locations for a permanent USSF base and an analysis process for choosing the final spot.
On February 19th, 2019, the US Space Force (USSF) was officially created with the signing of Space Policy Directive–4. This effectively broke off from the US Air Force Space Command (AFSC) and made into the sixth and youngest independent branch of the armed forces. Since then, the USSF has established a headquarters, taken on staff from the US Air Force, and even produced a recruitment video!
In their latest announcement, the US Space Force stated that it will begin training soon to develop their staff’s “space warfighting skills.” This will include training personnel to specialize in orbital warfare, electronic warfare, military strategy, and others. The immediate aim is to produce personnel who can control US space infrastructure and protect it from physical, electronic, or digital attacks.