Donald Trump orders Pentagon to create USA 'space force'

Katie Ramirez
June 19, 2018

At a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump said the "space force" would serve as a sixth branch of the USA military. The new branch of America's mililtary services will be "separate but equal" with the Air Force, Trump said. On Monday, Mr. Trump said the new Space Force branch would be independent of the air and sea services, noting the new space branch would be "separate but equal" with the other services.

Trump envisioned a bright future for the United States space program, pledging to revive the country's flagging efforts, return to the moon and eventually send a manned mission that would reach Mars.

Of course, some in Congress, notably Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the HASC strategic forces subcommittee, and his ranking member, Rep. Jim Cooper, have pressed hard for a space force, arguing the Air Force's pilot-dominated culture pays insufficient attention space, to our peril.

Trump has floated the idea of an independent space branch of the military previously, mirroring an effort previous year in the House of Representatives to form a new service that lawmakers dubbed the Space Corps. The Department of Defense is now working on a report exploring whether or not the USA should have a "space corps".

In 1967, the United States signed the Outer Space Treaty, along with China and Russian Federation.

Trump's space policy does at least extend to NASA (you know, the nerds who actually study to improve our knowledge of space and don't just want to blow things up).

This allowed President Trump to stop by the meeting to sign a policy document on space-traffic management and also share a few thoughts. Senior officials with the Air Force have also expressed reservations to Congress about the creation of a separate Space Force.

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The president did not offer much more in the way of details regarding the establishment of this new branch, but there are certain extrapolations one can make regarding the extent of its purview based on the existing space command as well as already existing space-based military branches in operation as part of both the Russian and Chinese armed forces.

The review of how the Pentagon's space enterprise is organized was to include an evaluation of last year's House proposal of Space Corps as a military branch, according to the 21-page memorandum signed by Shanahan and dated March 1.

Before making his remarks on the space program, President Trump also weighed in on the ongoing immigration crisis - blasting the U.S.' current immigration laws and saying the crisis is "the Democrats' fault".

The policy calls for providing a safe and secure environment up in orbit, as satellite traffic increases.

In his statement, Trump said: "This is a giant step toward inspiring future generations and toward reclaiming America's proud destiny in space..."

"My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain", he said. It sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups.

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