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24 August 2019


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On the matter of uniforms; in space itself, visibility is a prime asset. Space is big. That fact by itself defines many of the smaller details. For untethered space walks, something bright and highly visible is best. People, the last I read, still mainly relied on vision to navigate. Thus, being able to see near objects to both meet and avoid contact is optimal. Given how radar is ubiquitous and the basic human tool for longer range object identification, no particular colour of suit, which suit would be analogous to the BDU's of dirtside troops, would make much difference. When it comes to hand to hand combat, I would expect the methodologies to be similar to those of Marine board and capture exercises. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but in that situation, wouldn't the colour of your "uniform" be secondary? Perhaps for identification of friend and foe the colour would be of use.
As for dress uniforms, well, I read a Frenchman once who mwntioned the two types of soldier. Roughly, he divided the class into those who reveled in their braid and froo froo, and those who always wore their 'working uniforms.'
As for "brown sky" navy versus "blue sky" navy; hah! Why are we going out there anyway? This admittedly 'lefty' chap see's the "brown sky" navy advocate as being too constrained in his thinking, too short term. The "blue sky" navy advocate has it right. Gain a foothold outside of the Earth Moon system and we will be on our way. All else will fall into place.
space is big. So big that we cannot really comprehend it. Out there is plenty of room for all the myriad competing earth socio-political systems to run their beta experiments, and survive or disappear on their own merits.
Space is big.

John Minehan

As with anything of this kind, look to the threat first and continue to adopt to that as it changes. I think both, "Blue Water" and "Brown Water" approaches will be needed.


Space is mostly black. White on white or if the US gets a really woke president in 2024 pink on pink with codpieces for the female commanding officers.
Butt seriously folks.
All the promises of science fiction from the earliest 20's to the early 60's were betrayed when space was removed from the realm of the citizen and turned into yet another government affair. We could have had: We Also Walk Dogs or The Man Who Sold the Moon, instead we get the fear that The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the future.
'Tis a sadness.

JP Billen

I'm OK with Kwast's vision. A military 'Corps of Discovery' expediton like Lewis and Clark maybe? Or Zebulon Pike? But we should also focus on inshore. Both are important. Warfighter support should never be given up.

On the other hand, in deep space perhaps we should be working towards an international federation, like the UFP on the old Star Trek series. If we ever get our heads shaped right, we could send out a ship manned by all the countries of the world on planetary expeditions - or further. Or am I being too optimistic?



The Space Force will be rpresented on earth, in the Pentagon, etc. Symbolism of this kind counts.



While I don’t yet have an opinion on the “brown” or “blue” visions of the Space Force, I am a big advocate of deep space exploration with robots. I am glad that Musk and Bezos are in the game of commercializing space exploration. And crowdfunding of projects like the Light Sail that TTG wrote about can happen.

My great-granddaughter just got accepted to Caltech to study aeronautical & mechanical engineering and she’s fascinated with robots for space exploration. Hopefully the proximity to JPL will inspire her.



SpaceX and Blue Origin and multiple satellite companies don't look like government agencies to me.

different clue

Science fiction sometimes creates cultural vessels which the developing culture identifies with and finds itself filling with emerging technological reality. For example, didn't the "flip-phone" era cell-phones look an awful lot like Star Treck Communicators?

So I wonder whether Star Treck hasn't already created a possible way to think about a combined warfighting-peacekeeping-exploration presence in Deep Space. That presence sure did seem "Naval" to me. Starships, Starship Captains, Starfleet Admirals . . . perhaps the thought should be of a Star Navy?

JP Billen

Speaking of Star Trek. Nothing wrong with Captain Kirk's uniforms for the new Space Force, especially his dress black-and-burgundy: https://cdn.onebauer.media/one/empire-legacy/uploaded/star-trek-the-wrath-of-khan-uniforms.jpg?quality=50&format=jpg

or the pale gray of later episodes: http://www.vancouversun.com/cms/binary/8402300.jpg?size=sw620x65


the problem here is that we don't yet have any "blue water" in space, until there is some statigic assets in space, such as a moon colony or asteroid mining the concept of blue water in space does not exist.
the naval analogy works in the sense that we are sill a tiny undeveloped civilization that can easily build rafts and canoes, and just don't have the technology or industry or any real reason to build ocean going craft.


Short sighted. 


Green for the green hills of earth and black for the vasty depths of space.
I had not given any thought to the ground based symbolism


He who pays the piper gets to determine the playlist.



There is the ethereal Space Force, and then there is the brass-tacks reality Space Force. In Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek and subsequent Hollywood space flicks, the BIGGIE had been solved. I'm saying the BIGGIE that can either make a space force work or see a space force literally space float to oblivion. LOGISTICS, it's as the old saying goes any military marches on its stomach. The same goes for the Space Force. Gene Roddenberry had the logistical nightmare partially solved with his 'foods and parts - REPLICATORS'. There is today a real-deal REPLICATOR called 3D Printing which our government among others doesn't want the civilian world getting their hands on it, or better worded keeping their hands off it. The argument today has been regarding 3D printing of pistols and rifles. But to have a 'Space Force' both tactical (earth bound) and strategic (LRR, exploration for both military and economic objectives), one has to have the LOGISTICAL problem solved. One might be able to have a limited Space Force confined to our Solar System and the planets and orbitals immediately within purview of the Earth (i.e. Moon, Mars, etc.,), but to have a real operational Space Force would/will require the LOGISTICAL nightmare be solved.

We can watch the arguments both back and forth between the Civilian Leadership and the Generals and Admirals, and nothing will get done. Or they can move their diatribes out of the way and let the Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, and NCOs, and don't forget most importantly the Flight Surgeons deal with real Space solving and all its problems.

I could write a thesis about the obstacles that will have to be overcome in order to make a Space Force work in the real world, excuse me , real Space.


dominating low earth orbit is a reasonable goal, that is potentially achievable, controlling all of space is based on overestimating what china will achieve.
im all for contributing a large portion of our gdp to building the infrastructure needed to dominate space, a space elevator or large rail gun.
but as long as we are relying on rockets even reusable ones wasting time on solving problems we don't know about yet it pointless.
combat in space will offer a huge set of new problems that we have not thought of yet and so being concerned with controlling lanes to mars before we are sure we know how to control the shielded space

being much younger than you i think that nothing like blue water will be necessary or feasible within my owr my children's life time.


While both roles are needed I think the "blue sky" navy will be more strategic. Will the current Outer Space Treaty stay in force? The Outer Space Treaty bans nuclear weapons in space and ownership claims but it is mute on the use of resources and it has a non interference clause. A US space navy could strategically place science stations in key resource areas which would effectively claim them for US use. An example would be the Peaks of Eternal Light on the Moon.

Given rising commercial activity the treaty is going to need revising, or perhaps we just abandon it and start a space race for territory.

The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 allows private citizens to exploit space resources.


"However, as to use of peaks of eternal lights on the Moon’s poles, the principle of “first come, first serve” would be applicable: that is, countries that allocate enough resources and finance in exploring and using the PELs before the others would benefit a privileged position in the most precious lunar real estate in the years to come. Moreover, once a country successfully establishes its installations or devices on the PELs, any consequent newcomer who aims at using the same PEL has to take notice of the priority of installations already using the location. Thus, the secondary country may not affect or damage the proper function of the first country’s installed devices or machineries by those of its own. If such circumstances happen, then the affected country may seek to convince the intruder to revise his conduct. "


The Twisted Genius

Kwast's vision is a far future vision. It will probably remain the stuff of studies for two decades or more. Space Force will initially consist of the same USSPACECOM that existed 20 years ago with the major addition of NRO being merged into SPACECOM. Its focus will be keeping our stuff in orbit and removing their stuff from orbit. The vast majority of the Force will be DOD civilian and contractor engineers. As a bow to tradition the uniform should include pocket protectors with officers carrying slide rules. This brown water Space Force will be necessary until colonies can exist in space without the need for Earthly resupply. At that point, the blue water Space Force will probably consist of robot ISR and weapons systems.

This is a subject, I'm willing to wade into this weekend. My oldest son and I are in the Conway, NH and Fryeburg, ME area for a gathering of the clan to celebrate my father's 90th birthday a little early. I finally proved to some of my sister in-laws that I truly exist and I'm not a hoax foisted on them by my brothers. We also learned my father enlisted in the Marines when he was still 15 with the intent of taking part in the invasion of Japan. They just don't make em like that anymore, do they?

Jim Ticehurst

Do I need to send The Trailer from the Great Movie The "SPACE COWBOYS"..with Tommy Lee Jones..of MIB..??. For us Old Farts..Thats what I thought the Space Force was all about...I Remember Crusader Rabbit..


I'm thinking its time we bring back those bicorn deals, ala Marcus Garvey.

Andrey Subbotin

So long as we rely on chemical rockets for launch, we cannot do much outside of Earth gravity well. So the brown water version is the only one feasible.


I think the blue version is better for the following reasons:

1: Will spawn more positive (as in, making Russia and/or China increase their own deep space capabilities) rather then negative (I think a brown space force could be quite easily countered by a lot of ground based missles) competition which, call me a space hippy if you want to, will be beneficial for all of mankind. Essentially, blue space navies will spawn a new space race, brown space navy is just another arms race.

2: If I look at non human space based threats (meteors etc.) a blue space force is probably better in that.

3: Blue space navy will still be an arms race, but one that is partly away from earth.

John Minehan

One thing the Obama Administration got right was allowing for the "privatization" of space by supporting efforts like Virgin Galactic and Musk's efforts, largely by staying out of the way.

John Minehan

Staying out of the way of that was a good move on the Obama Administration's part.

John Merryman

I think the real question will be the extent to which this is permeated by the profit motive and we end up with a lot of shiny, expensive, dysfunctional, unfocused, overreaching nonsense.



I thought your parents arrived in the US after WW2.

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