In “The Case for Space” — Robert Zubrin’s refreshingly candid, excellent new book, the longtime space advocate argues that the U.S. needs to get to work deploying both ASATs (anti-satellite weapons) and fighter satellites in Earth orbit. His book’s plea comes when addressing how to best ensure that we as a nation are able to develop and use our near-Earth space environment.
As Zubrin adroitly and succinctly insists in his book, “We must seek to totally outgun them by obtaining a radical technological advantage. This can be done by achieving space supremacy.”
Zubrin argues that if the Axis powers had merely had reconnaissance satellites during World War II, and the Allies had no space-based assets, then the Battle of the Atlantic would have gone to the U-boats and Britain would ultimately have fallen. The U.S. would have lost the Battle of Midway and the Japanese would have destroyed what remained of the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor, he writes. This one element of space power, notes Zubrin, would have been enough to win the war.
Does the military industrial complex accept your thesis that another weapons build-up isn’t the solution for a secure America?
Parts of the military understand that space dominance is very important, but I don’t think that as yet there is a general understanding of how important, Zubrin, an astronautical engineer and President of Pioneer Astronautics, told me.
How far are we behind in this effort?
“Quite far behind,” said Zubrin. “We are gaining a lead the area of space launch, due to the entrepreneurial space launch revolution. But we neither have ASATs nor fighter Sats.”