The US Space Force is already in operation

The Space Force wants a military base on the moon

NASA wants to go back to the moon - and build a permanent base there. But the US Space Force also has plans. She wants to set up a military base on the earth's satellite. But it could take some time until then.

From Michael Förtsch

In December 2019, the United States Space Force was established as a new branch of the US military. It is supposed to coordinate and carry out military operations and missions in space and also to enforce the interests of the USA there - something that was previously the task of the US air force. So far, this has mainly included the launch and operation of communications satellites such as the AEHF. But as Space Command General John Shaw announced at a military conference, the Space Force also wants to take troops into space and set up outposts there.

Among other things, John Shaw could envision the US Space Force targeting the moon. "At some point, we'll be sending people into space," Shaw said of the Space Force's plans. “Perhaps they operate command centers somewhere on the surface of the moon or at another location.” However, it is still “a long way” until then. On the one hand, because the new armed forces are still being established and have no fully developed plans for the future. But also because many things can be solved better with robots and automated or remote-controlled devices than with humans in the future.

“The best robots humans have ever created are probably satellites. Either those exploring other planets or those that operate within our own solar system, ”Shaw said. There would therefore be "a whole bunch of automated and autonomous systems" between earth and sun for the US national security.

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Not a new idea

The idea of ​​a US military base on the moon is not new; it is over half a century old. Before NASA's Apollo program was approved by the US government, the United States Air Force had already worked out plans to land on the moon. The so-called Lunex project envisaged the construction of a space glider in the style of the later Space Shutte and a gigantic rocket at the end of the 1950s. The military researchers were certain that a landing on the moon would be feasible as early as 1967.

According to the military plan, the astronauts should spend several days on the lunar surface and prepare for a "conquest" of the Earth's satellite. The centerpiece was to be a Moon Air Force Base, which was to be built up and expanded with numerous other missions. Cargo rockets were to be used to shoot living quarters, oxygen and water containers, food and a mini nuclear power plant onto the moon. From 1971, the military believed, a small crew of soldiers could have lived permanently on the moon. However, the plan was rejected by the US government because it seemed overly oversized and expensive.

Teaser image: NASA