An innovative new network CHPS may control space traffic around the Moon.
As human activity extends outward into the solar system, we’ll need a way to keep track of space junk, and the growing number of missions around the Moon and beyond.
Recently, the newly-formed U.S. Space Force announced plans to create CHPS, the Cis-lunar Highway Patrol System. Despite an acronym harking back to a certain cheesy TV series in the 1970s, CHPS will provide a serious look at space traffic further out in orbit around the Earth-Moon system. Such a network is vital, as private companies and space agencies are set to return to the Moon in a big way in the coming decade.
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.
There has been quite a bit of buzz in the past few years about the US Space Force (USSF), especially now that they are recruiting! The sixth and youngest branch of the US Armed Forces, Space Force was created in 2019 when the Air Force Space Command (AFSC) was broken off from the US Air Force (USAF) and made into an independent service branch.
There’s been even more buzz about the USAF’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a reusable robotic spaceplane whose official purpose is still highly classified! And now, the USAF and the U.S. Space Force have come together to launch the X-37B on its sixth mission (OTV-6). In just two days, this spaceplane will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to perform a number of tasks (some of which we know about!)
“Maybe your purpose on this planet… isn’t on this planet!”
These spine-tingling words cap off the US Space Force’s (USSF) new recruitment video, which hit the airwaves earlier this week. After giving a rundown of what the USSF’s responsibilities are, the video culminates with that beautiful tagline, in which people are invited to find their place off-world!
While this video is pretty short and sweet, it represents a significant milestone in the development of the USSF as an independent branch of the US Armed Forces – a process that began in earnest just a few years ago.
Now that the US Space Force’s new uniforms have been eviscerated on social media (that was solast week) it’s up to their new logo to keep the uproar going. The newest branch of the US Armed Forces hasn’t disappointed: their logo looks like the Star Fleet logo from Star Trek, inviting all kinds of rancorous comparisons on the internet.