Check out the military games Space Force will be playing in orbit
· Apr 16, 2024 ·

In 2019, Donald Trump signed a law creating the U.S. Space Force with the stated purpose of securing our nation's interests in, from, and to space.

In 2025, we may see the first military exercises in outer space.

Space Systems Command announced that they have awarded two contracts with space industry vendors (True Anomaly and Rocket Lab) to engage in war simulations.

The vendors will exercise a realistic threat response scenario in an on-orbit space domain awareness (SDA) demonstration called VICTUS HAZE.

VICTUS HAZE? ("Victorious Fog/Confusion?")

Who names these things?

Probably this guy.

Anyway, the exercises are meant to test the military's ability to quickly respond to an adversary's unknown space assets.

"When another nation puts an asset up into space and we don't quite know what that asset is, we don't know what its intent is, we don't know what its capabilities are, we need the ability to go up there and figure out what this thing is," said Gen. Michael Guetlein, the Space Force's vice chief of space operations.

For this exercise, True Anomaly will launch its "Jackal" spacecraft first. They're the bad guys in this scenario, probably the Chinese or the Russians, and will pose as an enemy satellite. Rocket Lab will have a rocket on standby to send up a craft to inspect the enemy's.

Then the two will switch places, with the Jackal inspecting Rocket Lab's satellite.

The real key to the exercise isn't the inspection, as much as being able to launch the crafts as soon as Space Force gives the launch order.

Most space launches require months of planning and perfect launch conditions. New technology requires years to be tested, and usually the learning curve involves explosions. Lots and lots of explosions.

Space Force needs to be able to respond to threats from orbit/space immediately. They can't sit around worrying about whether their rocket's cooling systems have a leak or waiting for the weather to be so-so.

Space Force calls this readiness "tactically responsive space (TacRS)".

"If a near-peer competitor makes a movement, we need to have it in our quiver to make a counter maneuver, whether that be go up and do a show of force or go up and do space domain awareness or understand the characterization of the environment — what's going on?" Guetlein said.

The VICTUS NOX exercise last year launched a satellite within 27 hours of the order being given, and they want to get that time down even lower.

And if all of this seems ridiculous and unnecessary, here are a couple of threats already in space:

The Chinese ... have a satellite (the Shijian-17), equipped with a robotic arm, that has the potential to grab other satellites and disable them. Even scarier is a bit of Russian technology … a "nesting doll": a satellite that releases a smaller satellite armed with a projectile capable of taking out our own orbital tech.

Scary stuff if you like things like cell phone service and the internet.

I'll be honest though, I'm disappointed.

I was hoping for Star Trek or Star Wars, but instead I got Battle Bots in space.

Hopefully, they'll at least add some hammers and spinning saw blades to keep up the excitement.

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