October 17 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security Year: Beyond Rating: 3 Hot
Shane McGlaun over at DailyTech reports that US government officials are looking into a space-based method of transporting small groups of troops anywhere in the globe within two hours. “The goal of the program is to be able to insert a team of 13 soldiers anywhere on the globe in two hours.” Although many have described this as plain fantasy, the surprising thing is that officials are looking to start a program such as this as early as 2019, giving actual implementation a start date of 2030. (Check out the original doc here)
Is this a viable option?
It would be pretty handy to have ground forces anywhere you need them in just a few hours. The second an Embassy came under attack or an invasion of a friendly country started, a unit of special forces would be there to help keep a lid on things in the knick of time. And if you think a force of only thirteen wouldn’t be able to do much, you might want to check out some of the latest stuff the military is working on for the future.
Much like the book Starship Troopers, each soldier would probably have to enter the atmosphere in their own pod-like device which would not only have to withstand re-entry, but also slow down enough not to kill the passenger. With human exoskeletons becoming more advanced every year, it would make sense that by 2030 there would be a suit which could take much of the strain of impact off the passenger (as well as increase the firepower they are able to wield, turning a 13 man army into a force to be reckoned with). In effect, we’ll see the suits from Starship Troopers become a reality.
But the issue is that in the book they are invading other planets, where as here on Earth we’d just be traveling around our own globe.
What, a jet isn’t good enough? What about UAVs?
When space travel becomes dirt cheap (maybe the Japanese will let us use their space elevator) it could be a tantalizing option. And with an Army of One becoming more of a reality with the level of advanced weaponry in the future, this could just be where our military will be headed in a few decades. But for now, I’m not crossing my fingers.
Image: Katrine Thielke (Flickr, CC-Attribution)