US Space Force or Star Trek?

The internet is ablaze with commentators mocking the newly unveiled United States Space Fleet logo for its similarities to Star Trek’s Starfleet Command.

President Trump recently unveiled the logo in a tweet prompting countless comparisons with the Starfleet Command logo which featured in the long-running sci-fi series Star Trek.

On some level, it should come as no surprise; sci-fi has long since been a source of inspiration for the technology and military industries and often hotly anticipated by consumers – think the long-awaited hover boards from Back to the Future Part 2.

Branding for the United States Space Force has been in development since December last year, when the US President signed the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) – a new branch of the US Armed Forces.

General John Raymond, the commander of US Space Command and Air Force Space Command, announced that the patch logo is the first of a whole brand identity exercise:

“Its going to be important that we get this right.” 

“A uniform, a patch, a song, it gets to the culture of a service and so we’re not going to be in a rush to get something and not do that right.”

What is the Space Force?

Outlined in the United States Space Force Act, the organisation will be trained and equipped to bring about “ freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space” and “provide prompt and sustained space operations.”

It will “protect the interests of the United States in space,” “deter aggression in, from, and to space,” and “conduct space operations.”

While the Star Trek mission statement, “to boldly go where no man has been before” might be one shared by the United States Space Force, the logo appears to set its sights firmly on  Earth.

The globe is rendered as a network grid, indicating a keen focus on supremacy over the internet more so than space exploration.

The orbital trail around the globe traces the route of satellites, while the arrow – rendered in similar fashion to a mouse cursor on some operating systems – suggests that computing and AI will play a fundamental role.

As is customary with government logos of this nature, the  prominent eight-pointed star is likely esoteric in nature rather than merely aesthetic.