Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sci-Fi Sunday. How far are we away from Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST)?

via Future Wars Stories Blog
"Feet First into Hell!", that is the motto of the HALO universe UNSC ODST Helljumpers. These specialized soldiers are trained in the unique combat skill of dropping onto a planetary surface from space in personal drop-pods, and they are almost as iconic as the SPARTANs of HALO. They also carrying on an important tradition in science fiction: the concept of Space-Drop Infantry or "Spaceborne". These orbital parajumpers is one that is common throughout sci-fi, and is even being researched by military organizations for realistic real-world applications. In some ways, these futuristic warfighters that drop from star-side to dirt-side are very linked to the brave airborne soldiers of the 2nd World War and Korea along with current Special Operations soldiers. In this blogpost, FWS will examining the sci-fi space-drop soldier and their tools of the trade: the drop-pod along with digging into the sci-fi vision of space paratroopers and why the genre of science fiction is so obsessed with these elite soldiers. For the purposes of this blogpost, we will be using multiple terms for space drop paratroopers. This blogpost does not preclude future one detailing Airborne operations in the near future.
FWS goes into detail about Orbital Drop Shock Troopers in Sci-Fi on his blog.  Additional he talks about Space Marines and how they've been depicted in movies/tv shows etc...

This led me to the craziness of wondering how far off are we from Space Marines and Orbital Shock Troops (I kinda miss Marines being called "Shock Troops" was another proud touchstone of our history that's been thrown away by the current leadership).

Question.  Do you remember the musing from the Marine Corps back in 2006 about the possibility of Space Marines?  If not then check out this Popular Science article.

Did you know that during the height of the space program (during the Gemini missions and ending shortly after Apollo) that our brainiacs at NASA and the Defense Dept actually schemed the same?  Remember the Ithacus Rocket? The idea was to transport a Company of Marines anywhere on the planet in two hours ( could call it an early Company Landing Team concept but the speed of action adds to the inherent power of the formation) but if you're fuzzy then check out a writeup on it here.

The question remains.  How far are we away from Orbital Drop Shock Troopers or Space Marines?

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