The latest venture for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the agency that provides the Department of Defense with their big guns, is an ambitious one: building a modern Star Trek -style ‘Starship Enterprise’ in outer space. DARPA’s new Hallmark program is the first step toward building a U.S. military base of operations in a galaxy far, far away.
The first goal isn’t building the ship itself, but rather developing the technology to survive in the extremely inhospitable environment that is deep space. Earth’s operational space domain is violent and dangerous, with an immeasurable amount of objects and space garbage spinning around at thousands of miles per hour. “The scales and speeds in this extreme environment are difficult enough to grasp conceptually, let alone operationally, as is required for commanders overseeing the nation’s increasingly critical space assets,”DARPA explains.