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Star Wars

A letter from the editor of our May 2018 issue.

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Now that we have strong evidence from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia used a sophisticated and coordinated state-sanctioned program to influence the 2016 presidential election, it seems more than prudent to start considering the other ways foreign adversaries might attack. One such place the bad guys could come after us is outer space. No, we’re not talking about Imperial Star Destroyers and TIE fighters here. The star wars being fought these days are much less cinematic but no less consequential, as features editor Kasey Cordell details in “Space Games,” an in-depth profile of the Space Aggressors at Colorado’s Schriever Air Force Base. These men and women are focused on part of the Air Force’s mission to achieve space war-fighting superiority, or, as Cordell deftly translates, the airmen are “helping the U.S. military detect and discern when things like GPS and satellite communication signals are being intentionally disrupted or corrupted—and teaching troops how to function without them.” But their work doesn’t just help the armed forces; these space warriors protect the galaxy in the name of your smartphone and DirecTV programming, too. In reporting “Space Games,” Cordell spent hours at Schriever and did extensive research into how satellites orbit the Earth (hint: it’s complicated) and how GPS works (very complicated). Her story will not only surprise and delight your inner tech geek, but it also illuminates a growing threat most of us don’t think about when we look up at the night sky. Whether you’re a sci-fi aficionado or not, that should matter to you.

Spring Adventuring

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