It's not exactly a TIE fighter, but it's currently the Space Force's closest thing to a space combat vehicle.
Space Force is slowly spinning up.
Military.com reports that the newest U.S. military branch, established in late 2019, has now created a unit dedicated to “orbital warfare” — and while it’s by no means ready for dogfights in the vacuum of space, the unit has even been assigned an experimental spaceship.
It’s not exactly a TIE fighter or X-Wing from the “Star Wars” franchise, but The Drive reported last week that the Space Force is now in charge of the experimental X-37B spacecraft.
The X-37B, previously under the control of the Air Force, is a secretive uncrewed spaceplane that’s been flying space missions since 2010. There’s even been speculation that it may have already carried or even tested weapon systems into orbit.
It’ll most likely be a long time before we see anything approaching sci-fi space combat — and even then, they’ll probably be extremely slow paced.
But the U.S. military’s push to use orbit as a warfighting domain — alongside other world powers including India, Russia, and France — is both an inexorable slog toward that reality and an ominous repudiation of the tradition of space as a peaceful scientific zone.
READ MORE: The Space Force Is Now in Charge of the Secret X-37B Space Plane [Military.com]
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