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A Note from the General Manager about Excursions

Space Force Is Here To Stay. But What Is Its Mission?

Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman displays his insignia during a presentation of the United States Space Force flag in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman displays his insignia during a presentation of the United States Space Force flag in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The U.S. Space Force, a new military branch, celebrated its first birthday last month. But what exactly is its mission? We find out.

Guests

Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project and Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  (@ToddHarrisonDC)

Joan Johnson-Freese, professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. Author of “Space Warfare in the 21st Century.” (@JohnsonFreese)

From The Reading List

New York Times: “How Space Became the Next ‘Great Power’ Contest Between the U.S. and China” — “Beijing’s rush for antisatellite arms began 15 years ago. Now, it can threaten the orbital fleets that give the United States military its technological edge.”

The Atlantic: “What Happens to the Space Force Now?” — “The headquarters of the United States Space Command was supposed to be based in Colorado. Since then-President Donald Trump revived the command in 2018, the state had been its temporary home, and last February, when the search for a permanent location was still on, he had teased that the current arrangement could win out.”

Axios: “The rise of military space powers” — “Nations around the world are shoring up their defensive and offensive capabilities in space — for today’s wars and tomorrow’s.”

Politico: “Biden’s China space dilemma” — “Some of Biden’s top space advisers have argued that it’s important to cooperate with China in space, even as Beijing’s behavior continues to threaten America in nearly every other area.”

Slate: “What Biden Should Do With the Space Force” — “As the Biden administration prepares to inherit the Space Force, it has a profound choice to make: Is space a commons to share or a territory to defend?”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.