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Author Topic:   U.S. Space Force NASA astronauts
dcfowler1
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Posts: 95
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-21-2020 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first U.S. Space Force astronaut will be Michael Hopkins.
The following named officer for appointment in the grade indicated in the Regular Space Force under title 10, U.S.C., sections 531 and 716:

To be Colonel

Nominee: Michael S. Hopkins

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44947
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-28-2020 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Michael Hopkins is expected to be commissioned aboard the International Space Station, reports SpaceNews.
"If all goes well, we're looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station," said Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force.

Col. Michael "Hopper" Hopkins is the commander of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission scheduled to launch Nov. 14 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The crew of four includes Hopkins, NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Soichi Noguchi.

Col. Catie Hague, a spokesperson for the chief of space operations, told SpaceNews that the service is working with NASA to schedule a transfer ceremony once Hopkins is on board the International Space Station.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 942
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-28-2020 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have any other astronauts (from any country) been given a new/higher military title while residing on the ISS? I do not like the idea of a military advancement ceremony, for a force that could theoretically militarize space, on a multinational civilian space station. On the other hand, I'd be perfectly fine with him receiving the grade after returning to the USA.

dcfowler1
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Posts: 95
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-28-2020 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
None that I can think of.

Space has been militarized to an increasing extent since the 1950s.

The USSF isn't even the first (or second) military space service in the world.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44947
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-28-2020 10:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Though it is not in space, in 2018, Drew Morgan was promoted to colonel and Anne McClain was promoted to lieutenant colonel while training underwater for their upcoming spaceflights at Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 10-28-2020 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
...a force that could theoretically militarize space
There is no difference in what the US military was doing and is going to do in space before and after the formation of USSF. Nothing is going to change. Space was already militarized in the 50's.

The formation of USSF is just a headquarters reorganization and not a change in US military space policy.

Kevmac
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Posts: 282
From: College Station, TX
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-29-2020 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know why there would be concern with a military astronaut from any nation having a promotion ceremony on ISS. Promotions are a time-honored tradition for all ranks in all services and can be held in any location.

I can't think of any higher honor for a person who has spent their career, if not entire life, working to qualify for spaceflight and also earned the privilege to serve in the next higher rank. Some day we'll see them promoted on the moon!

Henry Heatherbank
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Posts: 266
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 10-29-2020 12:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
I do not like the idea of a military advancement ceremony...
I kind of agree on this one. This could be misinterpreted as an unnecessarily belligerent act onboard a vehicle which is publicly held out as a symbol of unification and peaceful cooperation.

Even having regard to tradition and the "quirky" circumstances when others may have been notified of their promotions (i.e. McClain), my view is that the Hopkins event is unnecessary. Why not just promote him after a successful landing, so it is associated with his spaceflight but not obviously with his ISS tenure. Isn’t this how they did it in Gemini?

Delta7
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Posts: 1588
From: Bluffton IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 10-29-2020 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you follow that logic, you could argue that no active military personnel should be allowed to serve aboard the ISS.

I say it's perfectly appropriate to recognize the event in outer space.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44947
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-29-2020 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The International Space Station has hosted military ceremonies in the past. It should also be noted that Hopkins is not being promoted; he is voluntarily transferring from the Air Force to the Space Force. His current rank of colonel will remain the same, only becoming the equivalent rank in the USSF when the ranks are decided.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1555
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 10-29-2020 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Heatherbank:
Isn't this how they did it in Gemini?
No, it was because of their spaceflight that the Gemini astronauts were promoted.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 10-29-2020 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To me, it’s just a different venue, makes it unique. There’s nothing sinister behind it.

p51
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Posts: 1685
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 10-29-2020 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Military promotion ceremonies can place pretty much anywhere. Some folks like to get creative with them, but usually they're just done with whoever is at hand at the time (I pinned on several soldiers and NCOs when I was an active duty Army officer).

Heck, I knew a solider in another company in my last unit who got promoted at a sci-fi convention and one of the stars of a sci-fi show pinned on one of his rank insignia.

If I could have gotten a promotion ceremony done in ANY facility owned by NASA, I'd have done so for sure, but the opportunity never came up. There's no way I wouldn't have taken advantage of getting promoted in space if I could have.

David C
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Posts: 1186
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 10-29-2020 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Heatherbank:
This could be misinterpreted...
I get the concerns. I don't like the militarization of space, regardless of how long it's been going on (as if that's a moral justification).

However, I think whether it's a problem or not depends on what kind of ceremony we're talking about. Quick private ceremony for required participants only, no big deal. Globally televised parade with dress uniforms and side arms; absolutely unacceptable (yes, I "know" they're unarmed up there).

Kevmac
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Posts: 282
From: College Station, TX
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 10-29-2020 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have any of you against a military promotion in space ever served in the military? Just like in the non-military, civilian world, military promotions are cause for celebration. No matter what rank you are rising to, it's a happy occasion to be to be observed and attended by friends, family, co-workers, and complete strangers.

There are some parts of the ceremony that are formal and required, but the majority of the time is spent reviewing the promotee's past service and recognizing people in that past who played a prominent role. Some make it sound like a Soviet May-Day event where thousands of troops and masses of tanks and missiles are paraded in a show of force in front of the Premier.

A military promotion ceremony is not a show of militarization. It's a happy occasion where the promotee is honored and recognized with higher rank for their potential to continue to serve with high achievement. Sample promotion order at a ceremony:

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise as Major General Jones promotes Lieutenant Colonel Doe to Colonel. Attention to orders. The President of the United States, acting upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Air Force, has placed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, integrity, and abilities of Lieutenant Colonel Jane Doe. In view of these special qualities, and her demonstrated potential to serve in the higher grade, Lieutenant Colonel Doe is promoted to the grade of Colonel, United States Air Force, effective 1 August 20xx, by order of the Secretary of the Air Force.
That's all it is. A promotion ceremony on the ISS would have nothing to do with the militarization of space. And by the way, I don't know the percentage, but a majority of US astronauts have been military officers of one of the Department of Defense service branches.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4688
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-29-2020 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only difference is that wetting-downs are more challenging to pull off on ISS.

David C
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Posts: 1186
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 10-30-2020 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kevmac:
Have any of you against a military promotion in space ever served in the military?
Yes I have. However, the opinions of those who haven't served are not invalid in this matter. Appearances are important aboard an international, civilian facility. Arguably the views of civilians are more important. It's not all about the US. It may have escaped the attention of those in favor that there are other nations up there.

As undesirable as it is, realistically it's probably unavoidable, hence my comment about types of ceremony. In the future other nation(s) may feel an urge to lean towards the unacceptable end of the spectrum. Avoiding it entirely would, in my view, be a better leadership position, rather than "let's celebrate me because I can, and not think about the consequences". Further, if it's officers, and Space Force wish to be taken seriously on the ground, do not hold your promotion ceremonies on the ISS. The USN, USAF, USMC, Army and Coast Guard have all managed to refrain from this. It just looks immature, rather like an episode of "Space Force".

With all these things I recommend restraint. Once the genie is out of the bottle what's next? We won't necessarily be able to predict or control the desires of others. Who are we to judge each nation's wishes? Better to stay away from anything vaguely political, and the military is a lot more than vaguely political. Stick to science and commerce on the ISS.

This always seems to happen with the USAF in particular (of which Space Force is a branch). They just cannot stay within their area of responsibility - which isn't the ISS. It's been like that from the very beginning. They try to dress it up in many ways but at the core of it they are desperate for a role that does not, and should not exist. Buck Rogers X-20 Star Fighter Pilot with laser cannons and nuclear bombs. That dream won't go away. That sort of over-reach killed the X-20. Space Force itself is not an irreversible fact. If you really must militarize human space flight, make your case to Congress again, and try again to start a separate program. There's genuine military interest in space, but a close rein needs to be kept on the space cadets, they are way too fantasy prone and always have been.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1555
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 10-30-2020 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
I don't like the militarization of space, regardless of how long it's been going on (as if that's a moral justification).
Space is just another medium to conduct warfare. There is nothing sacrosanct about space with regards to warfare, just as land, sea or air.
quote:
It's not all about the US. It may have escaped the attention of those in favor that there are other nations up there.
The US owns 50% of the ISS, it can do what it wants in the U.S. operating segment. Other astronauts who are not Russian, Japanese, European, or Canadian are guests.
quote:
The USN, USAF, USMC, Army and Coast Guard have all managed to refrain from this.
Other services have had military ceremonies on the ISS. Not just limited to the Air Force.
quote:
They just cannot stay within their area of responsibility - which isn't the ISS.
USAF and some of the other services' astronauts will become Space Force personnel.
quote:
Stick to science and commerce on the ISS.
The ISS is not just science and commerce. The US military flies experiments on the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44947
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-30-2020 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
...do not hold your promotion ceremonies on the ISS.
Hopkins is not being promoted; he is transferring services.

Even if Hopkins was sworn in on the ground, he would almost certainly participate in outreach activities for the Space Force from orbit, just as many other NASA astronauts have done for their services. Every branch of the military has highlighted their members aboard the ISS through downlinks and other events.

quote:
Who are we to judge each nation's wishes?
The partners in the International Space Station have all agreed to a Code of Conduct that prohibits activities that would "adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of, or reflect unfavorably in a public forum on, any ISS partner, partner state or Cooperating Agency."

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 1555
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 10-30-2020 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...adversely affect the confidence of the public in the integrity of, or reflect unfavorably in a public forum on, any ISS partner, partner state or Cooperating Agency.
And this ceremony does not do that.

hoorenz
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Posts: 1035
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 10-30-2020 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA image STS069-347-013 came to mind.
Upon the announcement of his new status as a Colonel, selectee, Lieutenant Colonel James S. Voss (United States Army), gets a preview of the new rank with the aid of fellow crewmembers.

David C
Member

Posts: 1186
From: Lausanne
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 10-30-2020 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
There is nothing sacrosanct about space with regards to warfare, just as land, sea or air.
That is of course true Jim, but space did, and may just still provide a slim hope of a "fire break" to not continue to drag our bloody bickering out beyond Earth. Obviously you wish to see humanity continue to tread the same old path. In the end it may be unavoidable, but to fail to make the effort? I'll be blunt, that's sad.
quote:
The US owns 50% of the ISS, it can do what it wants in the U.S. operating segment.
The U.S. can do what it wants - up to a point. However, even short of that point, that doesn't mean that it should.
quote:
USAF and some of the other services' astronauts will become Space Force personnel.
They are NASA astronauts first and foremost on these missions. If they wish to be parent service personnel foremost, they need to return to their parent services.
quote:
The US military flies experiments on the ISS.
Splitting hairs. Those military experiments are not offensive or even defensive operational military systems. They are experiments - science and technology experiments. The military footing the bill is pretty much immaterial.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The partners in the International Space Station have all agreed to a Code of Conduct...
No problem with outreach within the Code of Conduct, which I thought you'd bring up. One (and not the only) thing about the Code is the public part, especially it's being subject to foreign public opinion. Now that is not necessarily under the control of, nor predictable by partner agencies. So, good judgement, restraint and foresight are important. Not merely, "we did it because we could," or even "ESA/Roscosmos said it was OK." A bit more thought than that is required. Some people here simply don't get that.
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
And this ceremony does not do that.
Probably.
quote:
Originally posted by hoorenz:
NASA image STS069-347-013 came to mind.
Good picture. I doubt many people would have a problem with that. Particularly since it really wasn't publicized.

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