President Trump orders Pentagon to create a ‘separate but equal’ Space Force

Trump tells Pentagon to create “Space Force”

"But our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security so important for our military".

Trump was joined by Vice President Pence, who heads the National Space Council, as well as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and other members of the council.

On live TV, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to create the Space Force as the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces. "General [Joseph] Dunford, [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored also".

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard. and Space Force? "Because we're getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons".

Since then, USA efforts to explore beyond the Earth's orbit have largely focused on remote spacecraft that do not have human crew members, though American presidents have repeatedly raised the idea of sending human explorers back to the moon or further.

Although there is some Congressional support for the Space Force, it is not clear how widespread the support is.

The president framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want 'China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us'.

The move was taken on by the White House in response to reported efforts by Beijing and Moscow to weaponize the space domain.

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President Trump also announced he was signing a new space policy directive that aims to reduce satellite clutter in space.

Aside from military objectives, the new space force would also spearhead new US -led efforts to return to the moon and eventually launch a new exploratory mission to Mars. Conceivably the 2019 NDAA that is now going through the legislative cycle could create the Space Force, Loverro said, although Congress would have to give the Defense Department at least one or two years to execute such a large reorganization.

Near the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Trump said: "There's no place like space".

Trump is expected to sign the new space policy into effect Monday, as the National Space Council convenes.

Since then, USA efforts to explore beyond the Earth's orbit have largely focused on remote spacecraft that do not have human crew members, though American presidents have raised the idea of sending humans back to the moon or further.

For the President, the establishment of the Space Force is of a piece with a strategy to create a lasting American presence on the Moon - and eventually Mars. Of course, that's not stopped the USA government from trying to militarize the final frontier. The decision was not mentioned during a pre-meeting briefing for reporters by Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the space council, or in fact sheets shared with the media.

NASA is developing concepts for an orbital "gateway" space station circling the moon that would serve as a base of operations, a technology testbed and a jumping off point for future flights into deep space. He has covered the military for more than a decade, embedding with US troops in Afghanistan on numerous occasions.

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