The U.S. Space Force is the answer to covering the “American Achilles Heel” and mitigating vulnerabilities in the United States’s power grid, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the Washington Examiner.
A GPS system operating through a network of satellites allows large institutions in the U.S., such as banking and energy, to coordinate their actions. In terms of power supply, the system allows power plants and microgrids to share power with one another, dispersing and bleeding power from parts of the grid that are holding too much energy. It also allows strained grids to purchase energy from elsewhere.
The system of satellites that controls the GPS is a priority for the U.S. government to maintain and protect. If the system were interfered with or shut down, the kind of coordination grid managers have relied on to maintain stable energy supplies would be difficult.
“We are dependent as a nation … on space to the point where our potential adversaries have called it the ‘American Achilles heel,'” Bridenstine told the Washington Examiner.
Foreign adversaries are “developing capabilities to deny us access to space … to wreck those capabilities in space,” Bridenstine said. “And if they do, they could bring this country to its knees.” (RELATED: US Enemies Could Have Sabotaged Space Command Parts For Missile Warning Satellites: Pentagon Report)
The Trump administration has ratcheted up efforts to determine new threats to the U.S. through cyber and power systems.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced in February that his department was forming the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER). CESER’s goal is to study and increase U.S. cyber security and protect U.S. energy systems from attacks.
“It’s in our national security interest to continue to protect these sources of energy and to deliver them around the world,” Perry said at a New York cybersecurity conference in early August. “Taking care of that infrastructure, from the standpoint of protecting it from cyberattacks — I don’t think it’s ever been more important than it is today.”
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