Trump signing directive to clean up space junk

19 June, 2018, 04:47 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Trump Space Force and Air Force will be'separate but equal

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the military to focus on space, a move critics said could harm the Air Force. Will this mean hiving off the large amount of classified space activity the Air Force now handles and coordinates with the NRO? He was jointed by Vice President Mike Pence.

"It is not enough to have American presence in space".

The announcement both affirms and alters the content of Trump's previous remarks on adding space to the broad area under the US military's actionable purview. The Amazon CEO said his space startup could conduct test flights for a space tourism vehicle with human passengers by as early as this year. But Terry Virts, a veteran shuttle astronaut and space station crew member, argued against building a gateway similar in concept to NASA's current space station.

Trump said Monday that the United States' space program had been bogged down by politics and rising costs.

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday, establishing a sixth military branch, the Space Force.

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"My administration is reclaiming America's heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation". "What we hope to do is have a more user-friendly approach...we hope to see people get more rapid information on when they can launch, more flexibility on their launch windows going up, [and to] see satellites having to maneuver less often because of potential collision risk".

Decades ago, the military deemed space a critical war-fighting domain, creating the Colorado-based Air Force Space Command in 1982.

The US commercial space sector is booming, while NASA has shifted from its role as a launcher of rockets during the Apollo era (1961-1972) and the space shuttle era (1981-2011) to mainly a client. Of course, that's not stopped the US government from trying to militarize the final frontier. "We are modernizing out-of-date space regulations ... and today we're taking one more step to unleash the power of American ingenuity".

The third meeting of the National Space Council was held at the White House and opened with the president's remarks and his recognition of dignitaries in the audience, including Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt. This new branch, which will take on the space role now occupied by the Air Force's Space Command, has seen support and criticism from bipartisan lawmakers and defense officials alike. Last year, he wrote to the Senate Committee on Armed Services regarding the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, and among his areas of concern included what Congress was calling "Space Corps". They can beat us.

It's unclear what exactly Trump's "space force" will look like. "We've always led", he added. "Too many important issues at stake".



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