President Trump’s proposed Space Force has found new support from a fleshy sack of dogfood and charmlessness that wears a suit and calls itself “Ted Cruz.” This talking sack is the Senator from Texas, and has decided that we need to fund the proposed Space Force to protect us from space pirates. Yep. Pirates, in space.
Sen. Cruz issued this dire warning at a hearing titled “The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges.” During the hearing, Cruz gave a brief overview of human space exploration, and outlined what he felt some of the important reasons for the creation of a Space Force are.
Of course, there are valid reasons, and other spacefaring nations do conduct military activities in space, just like the United States already does, and has done for decades, whether we call it a “Space Force” or not.
Then Cruz gave this reason:
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors...Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
Now, I’m not saying that space piracy isn’t possible, or won’t one day be an issue we have to deal with, but we are so, so very far away from this being even anything remotely of an issue that it’s not even funny. Except it is funny.
I mean, think about it: if we’re talking about pirates as non-governmental entities that use their own armed vessels to disrupt shipping and commerce and take cargo or vessels, then this is a very, very far-sighted threat indeed.
As of now, only about a dozen nations regularly and independently sent satellites into Earth orbit—the United States, Russia/Ukraine, China, India, and France do it pretty regularly, and the UK, Israel, Iran, North and South Korea, Japan and even New Zealand have managed it, but, really, that’s about it.
Private, extremely well-funded companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are capable as well, but all of these are a far cry from a plucky band of pirates slapping together a satARRRlite and lARRRunching it on a RARRRRcket into space to harass, um, other satellites, I guess?
Only three nations have launched human-carrying spacecraft—the U.S., Soviets/Russia, and China, so any likelihood of a crewed pirate space sloop wreaking space-havoc among the stars is a pretty long way off, I’d say.
Besides, if the Space Force or whatever it ends up being moves ahead in any way, whatever they’re doing will likely prove sufficient to handle any space pirates that may try some shenanigans any time soon.
There’s a far bigger threat of cyber piracy than actual, real space pirates, with the possibility of space-based assets being taken over via hacking instead of actual space pirate activity, and to combat that we’d need cyber security forces, not space forces.
I have no idea why Ted Cruz decided this was a big issue that needed addressing, since it, you know, doesn’t even exist at all right now, and likely won’t for a hell of a long time.
Maybe he just watched this important documentary and grew concerned:
I mean, we can’t let those Templars of Mithra get ahold of our precious water!