Physics Gets A Vote: No Starcruisers For Space Force

Wars in space will never be like Star Wars. “Starfighters” will not engage in dogfights with unlimited maneuverability and range. An actual conflict in space would be slow and deliberate, requiring prepositioning of weapons and meticulous planning.

Even defense analysts working on the matter understate the physical constraints on warfare in space. In a recent War on the Rocks article, Jeff Becker claims that the era of “starcruisers” — spacecraft whose maneuvering is not principally dictated by orbital mechanics — is closer than people think. While Becker examines some meaningful technological developments, his analysis — like other work on the topic — does not recognize the challenges and physics that would be involved in fighting a conflict in space.

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