U.S. Coast Guard News
FOR RELEASE APRIL 1, 2001
Contact: Lt. Cmdr. Miles Abuv
COAST GUARD PREPARES FOR SPACE OPERATIONS
The U. S. Coast Guard is preparing to launch a Space Shuttle program to conduct space safety patrols, stop space smugglers, rescue space travelers in distress, maintain space aids to navigation, and help stop space pollution around Earth’s "coastline."
"Commercial and recreational space travel is inevitable, it only makes sense for the Coast Guard to be there," said Rear Adm. Adam S. Spears, chief of the service’s new Space Operations division. "We’ll soon need search and rescue services, aids to navigation, pollution prevention and response, law enforcement, safety inspections, and anti-smuggling patrols -- all the things the Coast Guard does here on Earth will be needed in space, so we’re ready to make the move," he said.
Today’s Coast Guard is the result of over two centuries of mergers of Earth-bound water-related federal regulatory and safety agencies such as the U. S. Lighthouse Service, the U. S. Lifesaving Service, the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, and the Steamboat Inspection Service. "Space operations are really just the next logical step in our service’s evolution," said Cmdr. Xavier Day. "We are the perfect blend of military, civil, and public service functions. Our nation’s transportation industries and the public deserve the best possible service we can provide no matter where they go, even in space," he said.
Traffic control and pollution are two top concerns for the Coast Guard’s space planners. "We’ve seen how dangerous collisions in space can be," said Day. "And if current trends continue there could soon be enough space junk cluttering up the traffic lanes to cover an area the size of Rhode Island," he said.
"Don’t let the name ‘Coast Guard’ fool you," said Spears. "We work on oceans, lakes, rivers, and inland – wherever we’re needed. It doesn’t take much imagination to think of the space above us as Earth’s ‘coastline’ linking our planet to the rest of the universe," he said.
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