The United States wants to expand its space operations beyond the 22,000-mile limit around the globe. The US Air Force Research Laboratory announced this week that it plans to enlarge the area of operation 1,000 times to completely cover the area around the Moon. The USAF Space Force Division will “patrol” the Earth’s natural satellite via an artificial satellite, which will monitor both the moon’s light and dark areas.
CHPS: the patrol system around the moon
The announcement was made via a video clip posted on the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s YouTube channel. The clip states that US forces will extend beyond 22,000 miles above Earth today, reaching as far as the moon.
The new satellite that will be used for monitoring or “patrolling” as the USAF says will be called CHPS (Cislunar Highway Patrol System). This project is open to those who want to come up with prototype ideas, registration will open on March 21. In July, the US authorities will analyze the submitted projects and choose one that they will develop for this mission.
The Air Force lab will oversee the development of the satellite, while the Space Force will purchase it for use by US Space Command on missions. This will be the first step in expanding our presence over the current lunar space, using this information to identify potential threats to US space activities.
The plan is for the CHPS satellite not to include military capabilities to take action against threats. Such a satellite should provide security in space around the Moon and only provide information in the event of a threat.