FL – President Donald Trump tasked the
Pentagon with creating a military ‘Space Force’ as a ‘separate but equal branch’
of the nations armed forces as a means for ensuring American national security
and American dominance in space during remarks at todays
(June 18) meeting of the recently reconstituted National
Space Council held at the White House.
the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force. Separate but equal. It
is going to be something,” Trump said. “I’m here by directing the Department of
Defense and the Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to
establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big
Trump made his remarks at the kickoff of the 3rd
meeting of the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and top
US Government officials including Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chou among others.
would be greatly honored,” Trump turned around and clearly said to
got it,” General Dunsford replied.
entity within the U.S. Air Force branch of the military structure and the best
means of reorganization was still being studied. The creation of a ‘Space Corps’ had been under discussion.
release to elaborate on and explain Trumps ‘Space Force’ directive in further detail.
Space Force to come into force as the law of the land as well as to fund the President’s
and protecting the homeland from enemy surveillance and attack.
support and maintain a vast complex and massive variety of rockets and
missiles, surveillance satellite, GPS satellites, weather satellites, research
and development laboratories and military bases and more all across America and
in a multitude of orbits.
have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.
So important,” Trump elaborated.
Some strong space supporters, such as Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D),
who flew on NASA’s Space Shuttle, questioned the need for creating another bureaucracy.
Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t
want,” Nelson tweeted. “Thankfully the president can’t do it without
Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important
missions at stake.”
third Space Policy Directive, SPD-3 dealing with managing the increasing number
of satellites in orbit and the tens of thousands of particles of debris in
space orbiting Earth and that are potentially harmful by colliding with satellites
including our military assets and the International Space Station (ISS).
strongly supports the White House’s continued bold direction in forging a
sustainable and focused space policy that strengthens American leadership. It
was my honor today to represent the agency at the National Space Council, where
the President announced Space Policy Directive-3 – which will guide critical
and much-needed progress for space traffic management, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Trumps ‘space force’ comments today came amidst the swirling controversy
of the immigration debate and family separation at the border which he
specifically addressed in his initial remarks before pivoting to point of today’s
meeting about the US Space program – civilian and military.
heritage as the world’s greatest space-faring nation. The essence of the
American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers,” Trump
exactly the right man in charge, and that’s our friend, Mike Pence. He feels
very strongly about this. And in December , I signed a historic directive
that will return Americans to the moon for the first time since 1972, if you
can believe that.”
countries leading us. We’ve always led — we’ve gone way far afield for decades
now, having to do with our subject today. We’re going to be the leader by far.”
and leave our footprints. We will establish a long-term presence, expand our
economy, and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars — which is
actually going to happen very quickly,” Trump stated.
To that end NASA is developing the SLS heavy lift booster and Orion deep space capsule for journey’s to the Moon and Mars and commercial crew vehicles to ferry our astronauts to LEO and the ISS.
More on that in my next story.
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com