US lawmakers to vote on space warrior force

This file photo shows a NASA image obtained January 17, 2017, of a crescent Jupiter. (AFP)
Updated 15 July 2017
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US lawmakers to vote on space warrior force

For years the concept of intergalactic warriors was something of fiction, but the Americans have just approved plans to take something previously in “War of the Worlds” or a “James Bond” movie and turned it into a potential fact.
A Congressional committee has proposed that the US armed forces create a new military branch.
The mission to send combat forces - the United States Space Corps ¬- into space to save the world from potential star wars has been earmarked for 2019.
The funding for the project falls under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has been handed to the full House for a vote.
The vote and the budget is nothing new, but it is the first time since 1947 that a new military branch will have been proposed and potentially approved, the last being the Air Force in 1947.
The proposals for the Space Corps’ official duties include “providing combat-ready space forces that enable the commanders of the combatant commands to fight and win wars.”
The Space Corps would fall under the Air Force, but would have its own command, the chief of staff of the Space Corps, a presidential appointee with a six-year term.
It is not guaranteed the Space Corp will become a reality and given the apparent lack of an extraterrestrial threat, there may be those who decide highly trained forces are of more use on the ground.


Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

Engineers and researchers at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology display the payload they have developed after months of painstaking research and testing. (SPA)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Saudi team develops payload for use in joint lunar exploration with Chinese Space Agency

  • The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017,
  • Under the agreement, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space censoring system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.

JEDDAH: Saudi engineers and researchers have completed work on a payload for a Chinese space vehicle that will explore the moon, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
The joint exploration is in line with a memorandum of understanding concluded between China and Saudi Arabia during King Salman's visit to Beijing in mid-March 2017, the SPA said, quoting Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
The joint venture intends to study and explore the moon, "particularly the invisible side of it to provide scientific data for researchers and specialist in space research and science."
As agreed upon by the KACST and the Chinese Space Agency, the Saudi side will build a payload for a space sensory system for use in filming and take photos of the moon.
"The payload was readied in a record time of no more than 12 months during which the Saudi research team faced numerous challenges, most prominent of which was the importance of manufacturing a compact payload with a high capacity of less than 10.5 cu.cm and a weight of no more than 630 grams on the Chinese satellite," the KACST head said.
The payload consists of photographic and data processing units, among others, that is not only light in weight but also able to endure the space environment.
The equipment is capable of taking photos from different angles and altitudes that varies according to the lunar orbit changes, Prince Turki was quoted by the SPA as saying.
"Saudi Arabia's taking part in this great event would boost, no doubt, its efforts to develop its satellite technologies and use it in several fields of reconnaissance and distance censoring as well as space telecommunications, in addition to proceeding with the march of catching the world race in this field," he said.