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!
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!)