Australia’s new military Space Command (yes that’s a proper noun) launches into orbit today and Defence Minister Peter Dutton already wants to start a pissing contest with other nations. We’d love it if he simply hopped in Jeff Bezos’ penis pod and went back to his home planet.
Little green man Dutton has, in a speech in Canberra on Tuesday, accused some countries including Russia of seeing “space as a territory for their taking”. Which is bad ‘cos I guess he wants to be the first to colonise the moon.
He flagged fears of space becoming “a new realm for conflict” as countries develop tools to threaten others’ satellites and space activities.
Space Command is made up of defence public servants, industry contractors and the Australian Space Agency. From Tuesday its job will be to work with allies to establish “a safe, stable and secure space domain”.
Luckily there are no refugees in space for our former Immigration and Border Protection Minister to brutalise.
“Together with like-minded partners and the United Nations, Australia has long championed the responsible and peaceful use of outer space in accordance with international norms,” Dutton said.
“While space is primarily a civil domain … it will undoubtedly become a domain which takes on greater military significance in the 21st century.”
The launch of Australia’s Space Division headquarters was announced in May 2021 and follows the lead of the US and Dutton’s baby boo Donald Trump.
Dutton said it’s similar to the US Space Force established by Trump in 2019, though modest in comparison, and necessary to protect our national interests and need for a “Space Force in future”.
He also spoke about concerns over dangerous space congestion as if Australia already has its transport figured out.
“Space is becoming more congested and is already contested — particularly as the boundaries between competition and conflict become increasingly blurred through grey-zone activities,” he said.
About 7,500 satellites orbit the Earth and more are launched each year, which he said was a worry because these vehicles weren’t sharing the road.
“We know that some countries are developing capabilities to threaten or degrade space networks, to target satellites, and to destroy space systems – countries that see space as a territory for their taking, rather than one to be shared,” Dutton said.
We volunteer Dutton as a test monkey on the first space defence mission.