Image 01 Image 03

U.S. Space Force: Trump signs order for 6th branch of military

U.S. Space Force: Trump signs order for 6th branch of military

“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.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



Space, being nearly infinite, is definitely in our future. Perhaps, with lots of study and hard work, there will be a Star ship in your son’s future. This is what dreams are made of. Good luck.

Good luck to your son, Leslie. My son is an aerospace engineer working on the F/A-18 Super Hornet program. Only a handful of people in his masters program actually graduated. Teach your kid good study habits because it’s a grind.

JusticeDelivered | June 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

I have on numerous occasions heard minorities argue that money spent on space should be spent on poor people. Doing so would only lead to more poor people.

Space is the infinite, never ending frontier. Humanity excels in the face of frontiers.

    moonmoth in reply to JusticeDelivered. | June 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Humanity excels in the face of frontiers.

    Sure does. Just ask the Native Americans. Or the people in the Third World who get murdered or “relocated” when they get in the way of multinationals who want the resources under their lands.

I’ll strongly urge my representatives to crush this like silly idea it is. We need another military bureaucracy like we need a new entitlement program.

    Tom Servo in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I dunno – I’m thinking how awesome some Ziggy Stardust themed uniforms would look.

    4th armored div in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

    as usual TDS kicks in again.
    I am retired now – but in the 1980s i worked for the Air force and then for a contractor helping to build Space Lander type vehicle –
    if we had continued these programs we would be looking at humans on Mars.

    there were so many spin offs to private industry
    NASA spinoff technologies
    NASA spinoff technologies are commercial products and services which have been developed with the help of NASA, through research and development contracts, such as Small Business Innovation Research or STTR awards, licensing of NASA patents, use of NASA facilities, technical assistance from NASA personnel, or data from NASA research. Information on new NASA technology that may be useful to industry is available in periodical and website form in “NASA Tech Briefs”, while successful examples of commercialization are reported annually in the NASA publication “Spinoffs”.More at Wikipedia

      Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | June 19, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      It’s your TDS at work here. I didn’t mention Duh Donald, and this isn’t an idea original to your cult-leader.

      It’s just a stupid idea for further expanding government.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Rags only dislikes things with merit.

      Ragspierre in reply to JohnSmith100. | June 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Every idea for expanding goverment and further indebting the U.S. has “merit”. EVERY. ONE.

      Rational people can weigh the reputed merits against the costs, and conclude some ideas are loopy. You?…not so much…

      But, really, it’s all about personal attacks with you. Nobody who’s ever read your bullshit could come away without knowing that.

    txvet2 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I’m with you on the bureaucracy part, but keeping it as part of the AF means that it’ll always be starved for funds by the jet jockey oriented leadership.

      Ragspierre in reply to txvet2. | June 19, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      “Always” is a very long time-frame. I see a few up-coming generations of fighters…maybe be unmanned. We’re bumping against the limits of performance that also allow for a human pilot on board.

      Space will get a lot “sexier” not very long from now, IMNHO.

Oh, my, Ms. Eastman! You have a math nerd, too! My 15-year-old daughter also loves math, although it looks like she is more into pure mathematics than applied. Since you all live is San Diego, I have to ask: Is he an AoPS kid?

    Since I had to look up AoPS…no. Though it sounds like a great program.

      Anonamom in reply to Leslie Eastman. | June 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

      It is a most excellent program, indeed! I don’t know how old your son is, but it may be worth a look for him. We homeschool, but the original target audience was brick and mortar school students as an after school program.

      In any event, good luck to him on achieving his dreams! 🙂

Obviously nobody’s going to so say so explicitly, but this would seem to be a move to counter Chinese expansionism. Nice to see that somebody is paying attention.

NASA is, by definition—National Air & Space administration—inadequate for that job. In any case, the Chinese will not be successfully handled by mere bureaucrats.

NASA is also dangerously sclerotic, and nowadays has about as much to do with air & space administraion as the FBI has to do with law enforcement.

Will the officers in training be called Space Cadets.

Actually, we do not really need a dedicated military force for extra-atmospheric work. At the moment, our only enemies are confined to the same planet that we are. For space exploration we have NASA. This agency can be retooled to provide extra-atmospheric traffic control and space exploration. And, the current Air Force can handle expansion into extra-atmospheric defense within Earth orbit. If we encounter am extra-solar system, intelligent threat, we are probably doomed anyway.

There is nothing wrong with having a dedicated “Space Force”, it just is neither necessary nor desirable, at this time.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2018 at 11:28 am

    “That’s no moon. It’s a Chinese space station!” – Obi Wan Kenobi

    tom_swift in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    For space exploration we have NASA.

    This is about like saying we can disband the Air Force because we have the FAA.

    This agency can be retooled to provide extra-atmospheric traffic control and space exploration

    We’d probably get better results by retooling the Post Office to do it.

I’ll believe in people settling Mars at about the same time I see people settling the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert is about a thousand times as hospitable as Mars and five hundred times cheaper and easier to reach. Nobody ever writes “Gobi Desert Opera” because, well, it’s just kind of plonkingly obvious that there’s no good reason to go there and live. It’s ugly, it’s inhospitable and there’s no way to make it pay. Mars is just the same, really. We just romanticize it because it’s so hard to reach.

~ Bruce Sterling

The same is true of all space exploration. The Apollo project was a military project. It was intended to scare the Russians, just like SDI. Trump’s focusing on the parts of space that matter: owning the high ground in any potential future conflict, and preserving our commercial access to LEO.

People who want to waste money on exploring an airless desert containing no resources can do it with their own money.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to daniel_ream. | June 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    What makes you think there are no resources? If nothing else, we could drop mineral rich asteroids on people who need them.

    tom_swift in reply to daniel_ream. | June 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    and five hundred times cheaper

    Far more than that. The usual rule-of-thumb cost estimate to put a pound of anything in orbit is $10,000. And that’s just Earth orbit, which would be a few orders of magnitude cheaper (and about eight months quicker) than a Marian orbit.

      $10K per pound was the old rule of thumb during the “space shuttle” era, and it comes from a 2008 press release from the Marshall Space Center.

      The goal was to lower the cost to $100 per pound by 2025 with tech based on the NASA X-33, X-34 and X-37 flight demonstrators.

      We’re well on our way to that goal. The data below is 1 year old (June 1, 2017):

      The SpaceX Falcon 9, on a fully payloaded rocket launch is about $1,240 ($62mm / 50k+ lbs).

      Theoretically, that same Falcon 9, for that same $62mm can put 9k lbs on Mars.

      The problem with that is planning. Unless you’re lifting something REALLY heavy, or are willing to “ride share” sometimes a SpaceX launch isn’t going to make sense.

      Rocket Labs Electron Rocket per pound is still at about $10K, but can launch a much smaller payload of 500 lbs into low Earth orbit at a total cost of about $5mm. Sometimes for a small project, that will make sense commercially due to time-frame constraints or particular payload delivery.

    02sbxstr in reply to daniel_ream. | June 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    “People who want to waste money on exploring an airless desert containing no resources can do it with their own money.” How do you know what resources the Moon, or Mars, or the asteroids have? You have no idea. Do you benefit from oil pumped for the floor of the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea? THose are pretty hostile environments that we have subdued. DId the Spanish get a return on New WOrld exploration? Did society get a return on Salk vaccine? It is human nature to explore and discover. I would rather spend money on this than welfare.

      Anonamom in reply to 02sbxstr. | June 19, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      ” It is human nature to explore and discover. I would rather spend money on this than welfare.”

      Preach it.

buckeyeminuteman | June 19, 2018 at 11:25 am

Air and the atmosphere are for the birds. I’m transferring to the Space Force! I really hope I get a PCS to the Moon. Preferably a 1-year unaccompanied remote tour. Plus if I take my own spaceship, the TDY mileage benefits would be out of this world.

Let’s Make Space Great Again! Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

Separate from NASA, the military did have a parallel space program to provide pilots under a “research” heading and at one time administered by Chuck Yeager. NASA was billed as civilian. Reality required contingency plans and while not needed on this horizon, it may be needed and as such must be planned for.

    alaskabob in reply to alaskabob. | June 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    One additional point… this may be telegraphing that the US knows something from within… say China….that we know of their plans. Jimmy Carter dumped the B-1 since he knew of the F-117 Wobbly Goblin stealth aircraft… of course he dumped it before using it as a negotiating chip with the Soviets but that is Carter’s style.

DouglasJBender | June 19, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Space is the future. The future is now. The past is prologue; therefore, the future is epilogue, and the present is, uh, logue.

So space is the final neologism.

DouglasJBender | June 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Donald Trump — Creating a safe-space, in space.

so many extraordinary things happening. It’s another VERY historic day.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.