19 thoughts on “The Space Navy”

  1. Using Navy ranks in Space Force is stupid. The Air Force does far more space-related work than the Navy. Other than owning and operating the UHF communications satellites (legacy UFO and current MUOS), the Navy largely abandoned space operations when they turned over the old Navy Fence to the Air Force years ago. Even the Army does more than the Navy. I doubt if 10% of the personnel who eventually make up Space Force will come from the Navy. Space Force is the newest branch of the US military, under the Air Force in the same manner as the Marine Corps is under the Navy. This isn’t Star Trek. That’s a series of TV programs.

    1. You gotta realize Shatner is trying to protect his legacy. Col. Kirk is just way too close to Col. Klink for comfort. Also Lt. Col. Spock is just way too clunky. But I gotta say Maj. Scott esp. Maj. McCoy have nice rings to them. And Uhuru and Sulu get promoted to Captains but it doesn’t do much for poor Lt. Checkov.

      Personally I’m divided on whether we should have Space Generals or Admirals.

    2. The Navy was ordered to abandon many of its positions in space operations. The one-two punch of “peace dividend”, and subsequent draw down and re-org of the 1990’s followed by the transformational “jointness” in the 2000’s pretty much ensured their demise.


      I know that you already knew this but many here don’t have that shared experience.

  2. Even speaking as a former sailor I’m with Larry on this one.

    But if they do go with navy ranks, please replace the awkward Lieutenant, Junior Grade with the snappier British Sublieutenant.

    1. But if they do go with navy ranks, please replace the awkward Lieutenant, Junior Grade with the snappier British Sublieutenant.
      I think that’s pronounced Subleftenant. Another British rank we should adopt for the Space Force, gotta have Group Captains! Maybe in place of Commodores or the really clunky Rear Admiral.

        1. Agreed. I always thought that the solution to the commodores’ feelings of inadequacy was not the Navy Two-step, but to make the land/air forces re-adopt the title of Brigadier, without the General, for their O7s.

          As to the main issue here, I suspect it will be some many decades before the military gets space vehicles with the kind of crew capacity that would forgive putting an O6 in command (unless they militarize some SpaceX Starships). Also, it seems like autonomy would also be an issue in this, as NASA has consistently turned the position of Mission Commander into a glorified button-pusher under the constant direction of the controllers, but that won’t do when ships are light-minutes away – they and any space force will need commanders who actually command.

          But by the time all this happens, who knows whether there will still be a US Space Force. Or they may still be tracking orbital assets while a new Space Navy breaks orbit for farther reaches. Let us just hope this navy is not run by the United Nations.

  3. Meh, for now the “ranks” as I see them wherever the real work of developing the technology is being done. (In no particular order)

    Chemist (seriously, where did the propellant chemists go?)
    Benevolent Project Dictator, ala Kelly Johnson

    And the ranks of their enemies:

    Director of HR
    Team Synergy Consultant
    Social Media Coordinator
    Thought Leaders (assorted)
    Recursive Oversight Committees
    Microsoft (esp Powerpoint)

    1. You left out Quantum Machinist Mate. Classes 1-3 all the was up to Master Chief! I think we have to have Quantum Master Chiefs in any REAL Space Force!

  4. While it’s legitimate to be concerned about an adversary using space as an avenue of attack, IMO, the truly horrifying enemy that mankind has faced this past 4 decades as been our own terrible social inertia. Organizational cancer.

    Everything that was built in the latter half of the 20th century has turned into a potemkin bureaucratic cargo cult.

    We face, not the prospect of the Chinese or the Russians ruling the solar system, but the prospect of mankind crumbling into some dark age where our children don’t believe we ever went to space because their only examples are of the pathetic failure of any organized effort.

  5. Doesn’t it seem obvious that if you going to a lot launch a lot rockets
    into space from Earth, that you “have to” launch from the ocean?

    So a lot rockets launching starts at a number like 50 rockets per year.
    Another aspect is number large rockets launched a launch site per year, and I will say Falcon-9 size rocket or smaller launch vehicle doesn’t could as a large rocket. And say a SLS or falcon heavy is threshold of large. But also really big if talking about superheavy starship, or rockets much larger than anything launched before.
    So 10 or more launches per year of superheavy starship {or larger}
    from one site, counts as a lot of rocket launches per year.
    So, if we have 50 launches of superheavy starship per year, even if from a few rocket site, doesn’t seem we “have to” be launching from the ocean.
    And Musk’s idea of 3 superheavy starships per day would require ocean launches?
    Do even space cadets want that many launches occurring within 50 km of where they live?
    It seems at least a bit distracting to be having that kind of level of activity anywhere near you.
    It seems optimal if going to have ocean launches, that they be at equator. But also seems if ever get point of doing sub-orbital travel, you want a launch site near cities- so say, 50 to 100 km from cities from the ocean. And this could more related to sonic booms of reentry, rather the launch.
    It seems that for ocean settlement or for a spaceport in the ocean, a key aspect is having a breakwater.
    And recently I wondering how to make cheap floating breakwater, and roughly speaking I think it could done at cost of about $10 million dollars per 2 km long line of breakwater. And roughly speaking for ocean spaceport, I would guess a cost of around $100 million dollars. Or less cost than some launch pad, and launch tower costs. Though not talking about costs involving governmental project- if government doing it, probably involves 10 to 20 times as much.
    And it seems the hardest part is it, would have to involve “governmental meddling” and to reduce that, one just focus making a breakwater. One aspect regarding my idea of floating breakwater is you could put wind mills on top of the breakwater {probably not the biggest wind mills}.
    Now if going with wind mills, probably make a bigger breakwater than one actually needs- a breakwater tens of km long.
    One thing about it, is it would affect surfing conditions. But plus side of it, is you designing to stop waves, and designing to withstand hurricanes, so areas which worry about waves from hurricane, could a be plus to it.

  6. Nevada Test Site. How many “large rocket launches” equivalent to 1 megaton of nuclear explosion? Of course, this is why Las Vegas, Nevada was rendered uninhabitable in the 1950s and all gamblers died from cancer, ending that particular social scourge forever…

    Imagine how much more fun it will be if we leave for Mars from someplace called Jackass Flats, instead someplace silly like Cape Canaveral. What is a canaveral, anyway, some carnival operated by people with poor spelling skills?

    Although leaving for Mars from someplace called Girlmouth has its moments…

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