Trump Announces Plans for Pentagon to Create 'Space Force'

Ismael LynchJun 19, 2018

This is not the first time that Trump has mentioned a specific military branch or "space force" dedicated to space. 'The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers'.

The announcement came at a meeting with the National Space Council. He also vowed to soon get the States back to the moon in addition to a plan vague goal of reaching Mars. He announced his support for the idea at a White House meeting of the National Space Council as the administration presented a directive for setting a goal for a new moon landing within 10 years. "We expect space to be a contested domain", Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a Senate hearing last June. "General [Joseph] Dunford, [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored also". Neither of those proposals, however, is quite the same as the creation of a standalone Space Force military service, an idea Trump first proposed in March. As the space race heated up 50 years ago, the US, USSR, UK, and more than 100 other countries ratified the Outer Space Treaty.

Trump is also expected to sign a new space policy directive on Monday that will call for a reduction in satellite clutter to create a safe and secure environment in orbit. The U.S. now has no vessels in service that are able to carry humans into space.

The announcement both affirms and alters the content of Trump's previous remarks on adding space to the broad area under the US military's actionable purview.

Since the end of the shuttle program in 2011, NASA has contracted with the Russian space program to take astronauts on missions to the International Space Station. We must have American dominance in space. President Trump signed an executive order to establish the Space Force, an independent and co-equal military branch, as the sixth branch of the USA armed forces.

Some are anxious that the Space Force would duplicate existing efforts. Any future "Space Force " spending would be modest given that it would need to compete with other big, politically protected Defense Department priorities Congress already funds.

Details about the role and timing of the space force were not immediately clear.

Near the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Trump said: "There's no place like space". "As long as it's an American rich person, that's good, OK?"

The hope is that collisions - whether between debris left from previous launches, satellites in current operation, or naturally-occurring objects - will be reduced, amid an uptick in private launches.

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