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Space Force picks Alabama for its future headquarters

In a victory for Alabama and its politicians, the U.S. Space Force has chosen the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the location for its future headquarters.

The selection of Redstone Arsenal is a huge win for Huntsville, nicknamed “Rocket City.” U.S. Space Command is currently based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Alabama was considered a long shot and Colorado was the front runner, given its incumbent status and concentration of military installations and space industry contractors.

U.S. Space Command was established in August 2019 as the military’s 11th unified combatant command. The future headquarters will have approximately 1,400 military and civilian personnel.

While there are many good reasons to pick Huntsville, I guarantee a major factor was the clout exercised by Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), head of the Senate appropriations committee. He will no longer be in charge of the committee with the new Senate, but in his final act as head he likely used it to get the Space Force to move to his state.

This decision however is not yet final. According to government officials, it will take six years (!) to make the move, and already the politicians in Colorado, where the Space Command is presently based, are lobbying to rescind it.

Republican congressman Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado Springs, sent a letter to President-elect Biden urging him to reverse what he called a “political decision” to move U.S. Space Command to Alabama. “I am disappointed by the horrendous decision to rip U.S. Space Command out of its home in Colorado Springs and move it to a new location,” said Lamborn.

As always, pork is the goal, not defending the U.S. in the most effective manner.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

14 comments

  • Chris Lopes

    The Springs really is the more logical choice. Both Air Force bases have expertise in using space based military assets, where as Redstone is mostly an Army base.

  • Kyle

    At least its a better place than Virginia or anywhere around Washington DC, not that anything is wrong with Virginia, its just that too much of the Bureaucratic State is located around there.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Surprise, surprise, surprise…as Gomer would say. Huntsville and Alabama continue to accumulate massive government agency infrastructure.

    On another note, Hope you are feeling much better Robert.

  • MadRocketSci

    Jules Verne had it right: Neither Colorado, nor California, nor Alabama make any geographical sense. It’s pretty much Texas and Florida for useable coast for launches intended for space development. You can polar launch from Vandenburg, which is okay for observation satellites.

    It doesn’t make any sense to do design work half a world away from manufacturing, or manufacturing half a world away from where you’re doing your launch operations.

  • janyuary

    Doubting Thomas and Mad Rocket Sci, what you say puts it all together for me suddenly.

    On another note, Doubting Thomas, whenever I see your screen name, for some reason it makes me think of where I first heard of Robert, and hence a perfect bumper sticker I thought of for this last election …

    “Thomas from La Jolla for president.”

  • Brad

    A necessary clarification:

    The U.S. Space Command is not the same as the U.S. Space Force.

    The HQ of the U.S. Space Command is not the same as the HQ of the USSF.

    The HQ of the USSF is in the Pentagon.

  • Alton

    A thought!
    Did Von Braun’$ Germans win another round in the Space Wars?

    From someone who is half Welch and German (landed in 1709 in time for the Revolution Number One) with a dollop of Cherrokee in the mix.

  • Given the Space Force logo, they should probably locate headquarters in San Francisco.

  • Blair: Star Trek was a lefty’s fantasy of the future (a benevolent authoritarian government that rules all and where no money or property exists). San Fran was thus the perfect choice for home, as it was then and remains the lefty’s modern concept of paradise.

    Everyone else knows better. The military would be insane to want to go there.

  • Robert wrote: “Star Trek was a lefty’s fantasy of the future . . ”

    I have a different take. Please review the episode “And The Children Shall Lead”. There are other examples of a generally conservative message in the show.

    At one point I decided to find out Gene Rodenberry’s politics, and the publically available information at the time pretty much came to “We don’t know”. No one could nail him down. Which to my mind, in Hollywood, means not entirely Liberal.

  • Blair: I should have been more clear. I wasn’t referring to the original series, but all the series that followed.

    Roddenberry might have been a Democrat, but he would find today’s Democratic Party quite abhorrent.

  • wayne

    Blair-
    check out the intro for the unaired pilot
    https://youtu.be/GFtc2Ypwzl0
    4:18

  • pzatchok

    After the original series ended the spin offs realized they needed some form of cash.
    How else to you do interstellar trade?

    Gold pressed latinum or Star Fleet credits either one is cash.

    They did try to make a utopian Federation but found out that without conflict things got pretty boring for people. Peace and unity do make a good TV show.

    Plus people get board and eventually go out looking for new excitement and adventure. And they do find it, for good or bad.

  • Tom Billings

    Mad Rocket Sci wrote:

    “Neither Colorado, nor California, nor Alabama make any geographical sense. It’s pretty much Texas and Florida for useable coast for launches intended for space development. You can polar launch from Vandenburg, which is okay for observation satellites.”

    Yeah, … So what?

    US Space Command won’t be designing or launching rockets, … they are operators of satellites. If *any* bone was going to be thrown to Shelby, they were the more obvious pick. The Service HQ for USSF will be in the Pentagon.

    If the assets must be moved to high enough orbits that speed-of-light latency becomes a problem, *then*some of the operators may be moved into Space to keep latency lower, but again, the position of their base on Earth won’t matter much at all. That will be a different base for drone operators, is all. The same will happen if some Guardians are assigned to spacecraft assembly facilities in HEO out into CisLunar Space to do whatever robots still cannot, yet. Their work would be closest to what the Navy Construction Battalions have been, CBs, …or Sea Bees, as popularly known. It still doesn’t require being near a launch site, or any manufacturing site, on Earth.

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