Space Operations Command reveals ‘futuristic’ official painting

  • Published
  • By Space Operations Command Public Affairs
Space Operations Command revealed the command’s first official painting during a ceremony October 20.  
The painting was commissioned with artist Rick Herter and is titled “High Ground Intercept” for its depiction of space as a warfighting arena, now and into the future.  
The artwork depicts a futuristic U.S. Space vehicle intercepting an adversary satellite, who in turn is positioning to disable a friendly satellite. The futuristic intercept vehicle has historic links to the X-20 Dyna-Soar, the first U.S. space plane design, with its low-wing delta shape and vertical winglets. The bay doors of the intercept vehicle are opening as the space plane moves into position and prepares to defend the friendly satellite. 
“Because of the highly classified nature of many space operations, SpOC requested that Herter rely on historic space planes and his own imagination,” explained Christopher Rumley, command historian.  
Upon undertaking the historic task, Herter explained the importance of detail when it comes to delivering a product that meets his client’s vision. 
“The most challenging projects are when a client gives the artist a general concept of what they want but can’t give specifics,” said Herter. “In order to get the proportions and angles of the vehicle correct within the painting, I built a crude model of my space plane design, which I could then use as my reference point.” 
For centuries, artists have depicted battles and war victories to inspire national pride and record momentous acts of courage. Though challenging, Rumley expressed confidence that Herter succeeded. 
“It was not an easy task, but Rick was able to fuse where we’ve been as a force with where we are going,” said Rumley. 
Today, the Department of the Air Force Art Collection houses thousands of pieces of art documenting the deeds of Airmen and Guardians through major conflicts, humanitarian operations, military training exercises and operations, and other subjects that encompass the Air Force’s and Space Force’s goals and mission. 
Space Operations Command is the fight-tonight force and first Field Command of the U.S. Space Force. SpOC’s mission is to protect America and our allies in, from and to and into the future.