The World’s First Military Space Exercise

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The US Space Force announced its partnership with Rocket Lab and True Anomaly for the first ever military demonstration in space.

This first-of-its-kind TacRS mission will demonstrate how the military would counter “on-orbit aggression,” reflecting the ongoing military escalation in the space domain.

According to Interesting Engineering, during the mission, a spacecraft built and launched by Rocket Lab will “chase” a satellite made by True Anomaly, rendezvous with it and take close-up images. The Space Force’s Space Systems Command explained in a press statement that both companies are meant to simulate a “realistic threat response scenario in an on-orbit space domain awareness demonstration called Victus Haze.”

This is all so the US Space Force will have a prepared response strategy for a scenario in which an adversary approaches one of its satellites. The strategy will reportedly focus on the rapid deployment of satellites that can counter threats to on-orbit military assets, meaning that Rocket Lab will be on standby for a short-notice launch.

The announcement of this new mission comes shortly after Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of US Space Command, warned of a “window of vulnerability” in space, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that China and Russia have “transformed space into a contested warfighting domain.”

He claims that Chinese forces are “moving breathtakingly fast in space,” and states that America “must rapidly increase the timeliness, quality and quantity of our critical national space and missile defense systems to match China’s speed and maintain our advantage.”

While the US claims this mission is a countermeasure against Russian and Chinese military escalation, China and Russia seem to be blaming the US for escalation.

Nevertheless, with the current escalating political state of the world (with companies like SpaceX functioning as a valuable military asset in Ukraine) it seems there are less and less efforts to maintain space as a demilitarized domain.