Don’t let space become the next military battleground

President Donald Trump’s recent proposal for a military-oriented Space Force has renewed a debate that occurred at the outset of American space exploration 60 years ago: Should issues associated with exploring the heavens be controlled by the military or by a civilian organization?

In 1958, embarrassed by the Soviet Union’s triumphant launch of Sputnik, President Dwight Eisenhower could have easily turned space matters over to the military on a permanent basis. Instead, his solution was to create a dual track, with the more visible agency — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — being civilian-led.

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