Conspiracy theorists may have been saying that the USA has had a space fleet for decades, but now no-one can deny that the US military does have an official space force. The announcement at the end of last year was a truly historic one for many reasons; however, when the official insignia was unveiled in January and commentators pointed out its similarity to Star Trek’s own Space Fleet badge, imaginations all over the world went into overdrive!
As part of the US Air Force, President Trump wants Space Force to ensure “American superiority in space.” Its formation is hoped to help protect the country’s military space technology from foreign threats. As the sixth branch of the US military, it’s the only new unit to be initiated since the late 1940s.
Many forward-thinking businesspeople will have immediately seen this as a huge opportunity. Whether it’s dealing directly with the Department of Defense or in more creative areas where the right marketing could result in very lucrative tie-ins, there are plenty of chances for businesses to cash in or, as Buzz Lightyear once said, to go “to infinity and beyond!”
Although no doubt when things develop further and official spacecraft are revealed, there will be the expected stringent copyright controls surrounding anything to do with Space Fleet. Until then, there is a plethora of chances and areas where businesses can capitalize.
The recent baby Yoda character in The Mandalorian series by Disney+ shows how big a demand there is for merchandising of all types, whether official or unofficial. Thought by many to be an oversight, the delay in releasing official merchandise from this hit show gave other companies the chance to swoop in and fulfill the overwhelming demand by viewers who didn’t want to wait.
From T-shirts and posters to replica models, the wealth of choice is only limited by a business’ imagination and creativity. The very idea of traveling in space is something that has perhaps intrigued all of us at some point, and the official announcement by President Trump that the US now has its version of star fleet will only have fueled that craving by all age groups to buy into the whole dream.
As two of the world’s wealthiest people, both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are perhaps already living out their boyhood dreams of space travel with their respective SpaceX and Blue Origin firms. As independent commercial companies, both have just been contracted by NASA to help develop the technology needed to take us to the moon.
Joined by established aerospace company Dynetics, a combined contract worth over $900m has been drawn up for them to develop their moon landers. When President Trump issued his challenge to NASA for a new lunar mission to be completed by 2024, rather than keep everything in-house, the agency saw the benefits of drawing on the passion and resources of using these household names to get them there.
The launch of Space Force is a massive opportunity for both the burgeoning technology sector and, of course, the commercial space industry. Many see this as an excellent chance for the Department of Defense to forge a secure connection between military and businesses, allowing them to channel the technology already developed by people such as Musk and Bezos.
If the US military is to rely on LEO constellations to monitor for missile launches and communications, then start-up companies in the private sector can offer the DoD a more significant amount of choice. Of course, any tie-in with commercial companies will result in growth for those lucky enough to be involved, and with growth comes employment and the benefits that brings to our communities.
The greater good
You don’t have to be the boss of a famous company such as Tesla or Amazon to be making a mark off-world. Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Denver based and privately owned, multinational space exploration firm Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. aims to support mission-critical projects for the benefit of humanity.
High profile individuals such as Taylor are playing an essential role in the development of humanity’s efforts to move outward from the planet. Although some may question the government’s motives for having a military-backed space force, companies such as Voyager are proving that things can be done in this arena for the greater good of all of us.
If this all seems like a big slice of science fiction to you with images of lightsabers, stormtroopers, and droids, then it may be time to take a closer look at the sky at night. What you assumed were shooting stars are probably the satellites of Elon Musk’s Starlink constellation aligning themselves above you. The future might not be so far away as you thought!