Black Holes and Bright Stars: the Current and Future State of U.S. Space Power

Date of Graduation

Fall 1999


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The use of space in support of national security began with warning and intelligence systems forty years ago. Today, the military relies on space for more than just strategic warning and intelligence. Space systems have become an invaluable force multiplier. But as this evaluation of current military space policy and program demonstrates, space has the potential to contribute to the security of the United States in more ways than present military capabilities allow. In fact, an expanded role is necessary for the maintenance even of force enhancement capabilities, particularly as the use of space assets by other nations and by the commercial sector grows. The ability to control space in order to maintain U.S. space power is not only called for by the military establishment, it is outlined in national space policy. However, when it comes to developing force application systems necessary to achieve this goal, it appears a different policy is being supported. This analysis of what is being said about space and what is being done in space questions the degree to which the United States is in pursuit of space power.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Jill Bevin Goolsby