Trump announces plans for Pentagon to create U.S. ‘Space Force’

Frederick Owens
June 18, 2018

"It is going to be something - so important", Trump said. Dunford replied: "We got it".

The president said he wants the new military branch because he didn't want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". "We're going to have the space force". Both the Pentagon and the White House were among those against it and in October, Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote letters to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees saying as much.

Trump in March first voiced his views about a space-based branch of the military during a speech before a crowd of Marines at the Miramar Air Station in San Diego.

He also said it would be unacceptable to let either China or Russian Federation lead in space, and he would be directing federal agencies to "implement a state-of-the-art framework for space traffic management". Trump is expected to sign the new space policy into effect Monday, as the National Space Council convenes.

The Trump administration would also embrace the budding commercial space industry, Mr Trump said, by allowing American "rich guys" to use United States real estate to launch their rockets.

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Trump did not go into details about what military role the so-called "space force" would carry out or who would command it, but he framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". It sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups. "In general, NASA will be doing supporting research, Defense will be doing more work related to national security, Transportation will be streamlining its licensing processes, and Commerce will be putting more resources into public and industry interfaces". "This time, we will do more than plant our flag and leave our footprints", he said during his remarks Monday.

A mission to Mars will happen "very quickly", possibly because "rich guys" like rockets, the president said. Trump mentioned that he'd be just as happy if USA private space industries reached Mars before NASA.

Trump also said he is working to return man to the moon.

But it's unclear what, if anything, could stop the president and Congress if they decide to put his plan into action. They all emphasized the importance of worldwide collaboration and a detailed long-term plan that can last beyond one administration.

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