America-Japanese Aerospace Military Force Launches in 2019

Updated on March 17, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Sling-Sat removing space debris.
Sling-Sat removing space debris. | Source

President Donald Trump announced in March 2018 that America needs a space force. He did not know that America had already joined with Japan in 2014 to launch such a combined patrol force in 2019.

The Federation of Planets Begins

A few scant sentences on an Internet media source tipped us off to big plans between America and Japan.

Previously we found that Japan and NASA are working together on aerospace partnerships and have been doing so for a few years. In 2014, these space partners of sorts announced plans for a combined aerospace military group to launch in 2019.

Thousands of Pieces of Debris Litter Space

The goal of the military space group is to deflect and/or eliminate space junk in the cosmos before it can damage ships, space stations, satellites, and other equipment launched by the various space agencies of Earth. As of March 2018, over 500,000 pieces of debris are clogging near-earth space, many of them very small. Together, they cause problems.

Because the new program of space junk elimination is undertaken by joint military efforts, the activity takes on a military and defense aspect more than it appears as a garbage cleanup detail.

In 2017, more than 20,000 pieces of space junk are bigger than a softball, some zooming faster than 17,000 mph, according to NASA...The Air Force Space Surveillance System, which shut down in 2013 after 50 years, tracked about 20,000 objects. Space Fence, a tracking system being built by Lockheed Martin on the remote South Pacific island of Kwajalein, is expected to be able to track 200,000.

— Stars and Stripes; April 10, 2017

Interestingly, the United Nations keeps a registry of all items launched into space at its Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna. As of today, I count 38 separate countries that have launched objects into space, which likely is a surprise to some Americans familiar with the Space Age activities of only USA, Russia/USSR, Canada, China, Japan, Italy, and perhaps Australia and Korea. Even small Lithuania and large Mexico have launched something into space.

The new joint military program can target particular objects. What will be the disposition of objects whose countries want them returned is unclear.

The debris clean up project has been discussed at Japan's Space Expo 2014 during July 19, 2014 through September 23, 2014. The Expo highlights American space history and the new Japanese advancements that include:

  1. Hayabusa asteroid explorer craft
  2. Kibo experimental module
  3. Epsilon rocket system

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Peter Hildebrand (NASA), Masahiro Kojima and Takeshi Miura (JAXA) in the clean room with the DPR. Ongoing Japanese - American Project: Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar.
Peter Hildebrand (NASA), Masahiro Kojima and Takeshi Miura (JAXA) in the clean room with the DPR. Ongoing Japanese - American Project: Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar. | Source

Debris Elimination and Information

In early 2010, a company called Star Inc. won a US government contract from the Navy/SPAWAR division to run a feasibility study on eliminating space debris.

SPAWAR is the US Navy Information Dominance Systems Command, associated with communications and data for warfighters and aerospace activities. That might sound ominous enough to alert the public's expectations of conflict in outer space for control of resources and properties. If that conflict occurs, then Japan and the USA have already staked a claim on this new frontier.

The Japanese call the aerospace frontier The Fourth Battlefield, - according to Kelsey-Campbell Dollaghan in a substantial article placed by GISMODO under a heading at "Star Wars."

Aerospace is the fourth battlefield after the traditional Land, Sea, and Air. Paul Revere would need to add "and three if by air space" if he were warning the public of enemy attack today.

In another consideration, humans seem to have now littered the land, the sea, and the cosmos.

Another main goal will be monitoring military activity in space, information that will also be shared with the U.S. Strategic Command. In other words, this is our first step into a truly militarized space.

— Kelsey-Campbell Dollaghan, 2014

From the South China Morning Post; August 4, 2014

According to the source, Japan and the US had been paying close attention to the debris issue since 2007, when a missile launched from China destroyed one of its own satellites as a test.

... in Washington in May, the Japanese and US governments pledged to enhance their cooperation on using satellites for debris monitoring and marine surveillance...

REFERENCE: Access link here.

Help From Australian Space Junk Tracking Station

Lockheed Martin joined the Australian technology company called Electro Optic Systems PTY Ltd. to track space debris at a dedicated tracking station in Australia.

The station equipment will tell us what comprises the debris, how fast it is traveling, and in what direction is its spin. This adds accuracy and speed to the concept of garbage collection in space and Japan has already produced means of pulling trash out of the cosmos with magnetic nets.

Dumpsters of Outer Space could become a reality.
Dumpsters of Outer Space could become a reality. | Source

What About This Space Garbage?

What do you think is the best purpose for a military mission to target space junk?

See results

The Future of Space Forces

Space debris likely can supply large quantities of data of use to America's military and private aerospace programs. In addition, some of the debris probably can be recycled for military or private use and perhaps government contracts will awarded for that recycling.

Japan's JAXA space agency apparently has wanted to clean up cosmic space around the Earth and Luna for several years, according to speculation around the Internet.

"Cleaning up" a place can also mean monitoring it and providing law enforcement protection, as in "cleaning up the streets" from crime. Some credence can be given to public concern that the military garbage collection program can lead to military control of near-Earth space and of Earth itself.

In February 2014, a JAXA program launched a test satellite to determine if the equipment will operate and open as needed, ultimately in order to collect debris in the near future.

A fly-by past Mt. Fujiama in Japan.
A fly-by past Mt. Fujiama in Japan. | Source

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Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Patty Inglish MS

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      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        3 months ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I think we have a lot of surprising objects floating in space and the retrieval expense, as you point out, will be large. I wonder if anyone on the crews will be tempted to start selling these things on Ebay.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        3 months ago

        I enjoyed reading this informative article. I remember reading an article that stated among the objects being tracked as a camera that got away from an astronaut, I believe a Gemini astronaut, during a space walk. A problem with retrieval would be the expense. Then again the problem with anything in space is the expense.

      • Savio Dawson profile image

        Savio Koman 

        4 years ago from Mumbai, India

        Great article. It is a good initiative to clean space debris, but then there is a lot of reading between the lines in this case. This is seen as an attempt to counter Chinese Space weaponry development.

        Of course, speculations are ripe all the time, but it was good to read an unbiased view on the subject. Thanks!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        @Sandyspider - And the sooner the better! How have you been?

      • Sandyspider profile image

        Sandy Mertens 

        4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

        This is so good for them to launch the clean up space junk.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Probably there are some dead mice and small monkeys up there from more than one country -- That's horrifying to think of their deaths by suffocation when the oxygen ran out. A scene in [i]The Right Stuff[/i] features Gus Grissom complaining in slang terms about all the monkeys going up, so I believe there must be some bodies up there. A few that returned have large memorials in Florida, but what about the others? I see pictures of some of them at the National Air Force Museum in my state.

        I am reminded of how foolish Gus's death was, trapped in a capsule on fire on the ground with the door stupidly locked from the outside only -- Would the NASA engineers have enjoyed being locked into a car from the outside? What made a capsule different in that regard? Even car trunks have emergency release latches these days. Space endeavors are still not as safe as I would like to see the, but I am glad to see three doctors on the current astronaut team - a step toward safety.

        Much talk has been heard in the past about the USSR sending dogs up, never to be retrieved - I don't know the truth of that one.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Wow. It's not enough that we had to litter our own planet. We had to expand outward into the unknown. Isn't there debris with now-dead animals that were sent up there with no plan to retrieve them, as they were considered expendable?

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I agree! Islands of trash are not good things. I hope that teams can attack these trash piles in the water with the natural substances found to disintegrate Styrofoam.

        Glad you enjoy the images!

      • Rochelle Frank profile image

        Rochelle Frank 

        4 years ago from California Gold Country

        Very interesting, I'm glad someone is thinking about this. Too bad this sort of thing didn't happen for plastic debris in our oceans some years back.

        (P.S. Great photo choices!)

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Thank you very much for reading!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Thank you, as usual a very thorough article.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        4 years ago from southern USA

        It is an adventure ... truly magical. I have never really thought of space junk getting to the level it has and having to be dealt with before it does damage.

        Very interesting article and thank you for sharing your knowledge on the subject. So, I guess in another five years they will be very busy.

        Voted up ++++ tweeting and pinning

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        4 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I keep informed about aerospace matters and like to watch what is occurring in this almost magical adventure. I'll write more.

      • TheOz profile image

        The Oz 

        4 years ago from The Outer Zone

        Good article. Hope to see more like it.

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