Trump orders Pentagon to create US ‘Space Force’

President Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday

President Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday

In remarks kicking off a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump pointedly directed the Pentagon to create a Space Force as a "separate but equal" branch of the USA military.

Dubbing the new wing of America's fighting machine the "Space Force", Trump merged the idea of reasserting US might in space exploration with that of carving out military dominance, as global jockeying for Earth's extra-atmospheric supremacy heats up. On Monday, Mr. Trump said the new Space Force branch would be independent of the air and sea services, noting the new space branch would be "separate but equal" with the other services.

"Last year out of a lot of frustration and a commitment to do better in space, we set up a separate Space Corps", Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry told reporters last week.

He asks General Dunford to oversee creation of sixth branch of the military.

According to the AP, Trump also said the USA will "be the leader by far" in space, and framed the move as a national security issue by stating that he doesn't want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". "We have the Air Force, we'll have the Space Force".

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It's also worth noting that the Air Force already has a Space Command division that heads military operations beyond the planet.

The creation of this new military branch comes after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed his desire to colonize the planet Mars. A third directive, also announced in February, is meant to streamline the red tape involved in commercial space activity.

Among his remarks, Trump declared that he was pressing ahead with the creation of a Space Force to become the sixth branch of the USA military.

"And we're actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force".

It's unclear how Trump's space military will be regarded by other nations.

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Pace said changes are "not going to happen overnight". Protecting those space-based assets also is critical given the development of anti-satellite weapons by China and Russian Federation.

Trump claimed that the plan will ensure that America, which plans a return to the moon and a mission to Mars, stays ahead of China and Russian Federation in any new space race. In March, in a speech to a group of marines, he said the "space force" started as a joke, but then became a serious idea. Of course, that's not stopped the USA government from trying to militarize the final frontier. "Too many important missions at stake".

The announcement was made at a meeting of the National Space Council, at which Trump signed a new space policy directive aimed at reducing debris in Earth's orbit.

The policy calls for providing a safe and secure environment up in orbit, as satellite traffic increases. Conceptually, it's created to oversee missions in space, with a view towards space defense.

US President George W. Bush in 2004 said humans would return to the moon by 2020.

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