(Stars and Stripes)

Famed astrophysicist, author, podcast host and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson kicked off the Season 7 premiere of Military Matters last week with a timely discussion about space and the future of warfare.

In this Fast Take, co-hosts Rod Rodriguez and Jack Murphy discuss the significance of the final frontier as it pertains to the U.S. military and special operations specifically.

“Space has always been militarized, but there are some treaties that kind of keep things in check. How much we abide by them is kind of controversial,” Murphy said. “But look at the drone warfare program that we've run over the last 20 years where there is this highly technical system of locating, tagging, targeting, tracking high value targets, you know, quote unquote, in all sorts of parts of the world. And then using a remote-control airplane to drop a bomb on them from high altitude. One day we will get to the point where … we won't need drones anymore, that these weapon systems will be in orbit.”

Murphy also offered a look at the next episode, which will feature Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Dr. David Walton, former director of Special Operations Education and now a national security professor at the National Defense University.

“There are all of these online influencers that are kind of leading young people down the wrong path in his opinion — sometimes charging tons of money to get people ready to go to some sort of Special Forces selection, prep or whatever,” Murphy said. “So he kind of talks us through what the course actually is, what it really entails and how you can really get ready for it.”

You can find Military Matters on Twitter @stripesmmpod.

Follow Jack Murphy on Twitter @jackmurphyrgr and Rod Rodriguez @rodpodrod.

A transcript of the episode can be found here.

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Brian McElhiney is a digital editor, podcast editor and occasional reporter for Stars and Stripes. He has worked as a music reporter and editor for publications in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Oregon. One of his earliest journalistic inspirations came from reading Stars and Stripes as a kid growing up in Okinawa, Japan.

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