Victus Haze: The US Space Force To Conduct Its First Ever Military Simulation In Space

The world may soon see what could be the first ever military exercise in Earth’s orbit, with the US Space Force finally living up to its name and using military force in space.

The Space Force, which has been mocked for adopting the Star Trek logo as its own logo, having its own horse, and its questionable theme tune, has recently stepped up its activities on the space front. As well as sending an astronaut to the International Space Station, the force is planning to conduct a Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) mission, dubbed VICTUS HAZE.

The test will see two companies – Rocket Lab National Security and True Anomaly – “exercise a realistic threat response scenario in an on-orbit space domain awareness demonstration”. The exercise could involve one satellite acting erratically or maneuvering closer to the other, per Ars Technia. The second satellite would then make a response to defend the satellite, or to deter the “enemy” satellite from attacking.

Though this may all seem in the realms of science fiction, the US is nervous of potential conflicts in space, with China conducting plenty of mysterious tests in low-Earth orbit.

“The number and complexity of adversary threats in space is constantly growing. To rapidly respond to those threats, we need to deliver the most advanced TacRS capabilities the U.S. has to offer,” Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, Materiel Leader for Space Safari, said in a statement announcing the demonstration in August 2023. “VICTUS HAZE will help provide the advantage we need to assess the threats and continue our ability to freely maneuver in space.”

“We recognize the significant opportunity to leverage the commercial space industry’s innovations to counter China as America’s pacing threat,” Col. Bryon McClain, Space Systems Command’s program executive officer for Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power added in a statement on Thursday, naming China specifically. 

“The United States has the most innovative space industry in the world. VICTUS HAZE will demonstrate, under operationally realistic conditions, our ability to respond to irresponsible behavior on orbit.”

The cost of the project is expected to be around $92 million overall, with True Anomaly raising around $30 million of internal private capital towards it. True Anomaly still has further demonstrations to work on before VICTUS HAZE, but all going well, the US Space Force should see its first military exercise in orbit carried out in 2025.

[H/T: Ars Technica]

Leave a Comment