On Dec 20, 2019, the US Space Force officially became the 6th Branch of the Armed Forces, just one day after the newest Star Wars was released. The Sci-Fi future we were promised decades ago may soon be upon us, requiring a dramatic rethink of our innovation frameworks.
Despite political, economic, and social uncertainty coming out of the United States, one very intriguing element of the country’s strategy is the creation of the United States Space Force. The Space Force will be created as a 6th branch of the US Military and will be sure to stir up controversy on that fact alone.
What is intriguing, despite the potential political and military ramifications, is the return of ‘Space Wars’ to the public debate. Back in the ’60s there was a war for who would be the first into space between the US and the USSR. Being the first to space was a public ambition across nations, creating a culture of ‘shooting for the stars‘ that permeated all elements of society. Young children dreamed of being in space, entrepreneurs went all-in on big ideas, nations collaborated to be part of the journey.
That narrative has been removed from public discourse, and now people associate space with Elon Musk and a select few taking trips to Mars. The effects of this are profound, as people no longer gather publicly to talk about stars, space, and the universe around us.
Space creates a paradigm for both greatness and innovation across genders, cultures, and ages. Observing space and the universe around helps us to understand that there is a complexity and hidden order to everything. We cannot overcome the world’s biggest problems with simple-minded policies and politically-driven ideologies. Instead, we must appreciate that yes the world around us will change, but from natural chaos comes profound opportunities. We can only move towards the infinite bound of possibility if we embrace the Space around us.