“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space.”
President Donald Trump certainly goes where no man has gone before, executively.
He has steadily erased his predecessor’s legacy, returning the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to its original mission of space exploration after it spent years orbiting Planet Diversity. He has directed NASA to partner with American companies to advance small spacecraft and launch vehicle technologies.
Now, Trump announced has ordered the creation of a new military branch, adding the “Space Force” to the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space. Very importantly I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces, that is a big statement,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council on Monday. “We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the space force, separate but equal, it is going to be something.”
Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement that the military will work with Congress and other stakeholders to move forward with the policy.
“We understand the President’s guidance. Our Policy Board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy,” White said in the statement.
Frankly, this presidential directive may have the most personal impact on our household. My son is wicked smart at math and wants to study physics (preferably at the US Air Force Academy). His current goal is to work in the space industry. Now, thanks to Trump’s leadership and clear support, my boy has a real chance at having his professional dreams realized.
Commercial companies are also working on creating habitats that will help NASA get to Mars in the future. And despite Google cancelling its $20 million competition for a private company to get to the moon, three firms still say their missions are a go for landing on the moon.
…Local communities are trying to become space hubs by capitalizing on local graduates and past investments from previous commercial space communities.
Out in Florida, where many launches occur, there’s worry about finding enough graduates to employ for the smaller companies. Large companies have no issues with finding staff, but the small startups could struggle.
Along with the call for the “space force,” Trump also signed a directive to manage space traffic.
The directive calls for providing a safe and secure environment up in orbit, as satellite traffic increases. It also sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation, to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups.
The council’s executive secretary, Scott Pace, told reporters before the meeting that space is becoming increasingly congested and current guidelines are inadequate to address the challenge.
The last time the government created a military branch was shortly after World War II, and it was the US Air Force. It appears that Washington DC will have to dust off the process to implement the US Space Force, and Congress will likely be involved.
Understanding this, my son has adjusted his expectations accordingly. However, as his mother, I am looking forward to seeing him as captain of his own spaceship.
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