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At the American Museum of Natural History on March 15, retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles talked about how the military came to understand during the first Iraq war the importance of spacefaring capability for everything involved in conducting its operations. Steve Mirsky reports

The American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium hosted a discussion of the future of manned space flight on March 15th. Retired Air Force General Lester Lyles was asked about the military’s interest in space:

“It’s the high ground. It’s the ultimate high ground. It goes back to Sun Tzu and The Art of War. It’s the ultimate high ground, and achieving the high ground is always something you want to have for any potential conflict, for observing where you live. For the military person it’s been the place we always like to be.

“But I would say the Desert Storm war, in 1990–1991, was the first time the military really began to appreciate space. When we realized that everything we do, every operation, every communication, satellites for observation, for surveillance and reconnaissance, everything revolves around space. And we became a space nation as far as the military is concerned in earnest starting in 1990–1991. We cannot live and operate today without space capability.”

—Steve Mirsky

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

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