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Could we be in for a real-life space war a lot sooner than we think?

By Elizabeth Rayne
Star Wars TIE Fighter

We already know that battles in space aren’t going to be the cinematic spectacle you see in Star Wars, which looks more like a laser light show than actual combat. Most sci-fi fans probably believe this kind of thing only happens in a galaxy far, far away.

What you may not know is that a space war could be on the evening news much sooner than the impossibly distant future splashed across a movie screen. This is why the Air Force has decided to change how it operates to face the looming threat of adversaries who are planning their own proverbial Death Stars. The first-ever Air Force Space Pitch Day recently addressed the reality of someone else trying to dismantle U.S. space supremacy.

"We certainly know we have an adversary that is attempting, in all different ways, to impact what we do," reported that Brig. Gen. Matthew Wolfe Davidson said in his keynote address at the event, which was held at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. "There is no question when you look at what our competitors … are doing with direct-ascent anti-satellite weapons.”

Air Force Space Pitch Day was a two-day event meant to boost upcoming tech deployment. While there was much conversation about new technologies and startups (even a chat with Elon Musk), there was also a major focus on “early missile detection and warning,” “multi-domain command and control,” and “protection of critical space assets,” according to the event page. This is where all those startups come in. The Air Force awarded 30 of them $750,000 to develop technologies that can give us the cutting edge.

For now, the U.S. might be ahead in the space race, but there is severe concern about other countries trying to figure out how to snatch away our upper hand. We may be developing some pretty awesome tech, but our challengers are catching up at a superfast speed, and we’re already in danger of falling behind.

At least we’re not up against a cyborg clone army of Star Wars proportions ... yet.

(via Air Force)

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