What Would Space War Look Like Today

IF there was a war in space today, what would it look like? How would it be fought?

Despite the objections of nearly every senior military official, President Trump’s Space Force looks set to continue down the path to reality. Tasked with maintaining America’s space-based capabilities and denying those same capabilities to a potential adversary, the US Space Force would be the first branch of the military anywhere in the world dedicated to the prosecution of war in space. But should the worst come to pass, how would a war in the heavens play out? Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we’re asking the question: what would war in space look like in the present day?

At the onset of World War I the airplane was a novelty, a curious invention that militaries around the world were still trying to figure out how it fit exactly as a potential tool for war. By the end of the Great War, the airplane had become an indispensable scouting tool, feeding back critical battlefield information to commanders on the ground and providing unparallelled birds-eye views via onboard cameras. When World War II broke out the airplane had become an indispensable tool of war, as vital for war success as traditional artillery or even infantry. In the Pacific the airplane brought about the end of the battleship’s reign, making it the premier naval weapon. The skies had officially become the new literal high ground, and without that high ground a military could not expect victory.

At the end of the second World War nations were quick to recognize that a new high ground had appeared within humanity’s technological horizon. If Hitler’s V-2 rockets could be pointed vertically, rather than horizontally at distant enemies, perhaps they could place cameras and radios in the highest ground that exists: space. Within years this fantasy became a reality, and the steady “beep-beep” from Sputnik’s first orbit heralded the dawn of a new military age: the age of space warfare. The US and the Soviet Union were quick to develop technologies to put larger and larger payloads ever higher into space, eventually creating a constellation of satellites that allowed their militaries to remain in constant communication no matter where on Earth they were, or let them spy on each other without ever leaving home. Sadly, the first artificial moons to orbit the Earth were purely militaristic.

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