Considering that driving on poor roads costs U.S. motorists around $112 billion in additional repairs every year, it’s hard to envision that historic moment when we start touring space instead of the seaside, or colonize mars.
Nonetheless, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched its Tesla Roadster into space and is hell bent on turning Mars into the next big subdivision, but Donald Trump won’t be outdone.
Enter “space force”, the newly declared branch of the U.S. military that is separate—but equal—and coming soon.
Trump has now directed the Pentagon to start the creation of the new branch, which would make six total, dedicated to projecting American interests (which presently include a lot of satellites and one Tesla Roadster) in space.
“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Trump told a meeting with the National Space Council that had been convened for an entirely different reason, as reported by Bloomberg.
The main objective of the meeting was the signing of Space Policy Directive-3, which was decidedly less ambitious that creating an brand new branch of the U.S. military. The directive calls for keeping satellites, space stations and debris from careening into each other as they orbit the Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour.
But who wants to waste a great moment on something as boring as debris, even if debris worriers were severely wrong-footed at the meeting.
“I’m worried that the impromptu Space Force announcement has overshadowed the space traffic management release and is going to hinder US ability to do international outreach and cooperation on the space traffic management,” said Brain Weeden, director of program planning for a space policy NGO called the Secure World Foundation.
And Weeden, of course, is correct. No one paid any attention to the issue once Trump hijacked the show with his announcement.
Ostensibly motivated by Russian and Chinese investments in space, Trump said he wants far more success in this field. Related: Why Investors Must Look At Small-Cap Stocks
Creating a Space Force and promoting space exploration by NASA and the private sector will be "important for the nation's psyche," he said. "It's going to be important monetarily and militarily. … We don't want China and Russia and other countries leading us. We're going to be the leader by far."
China is eager to establish itself as a superpower with plans for an orbiting space station and a permanent outpost on the moon. Russia is aggressively in deploying more sophisticated nuclear weapons and its aspirations for a military role in space.
But whether “space force” makes it beyond the realm of PR is questionable. It’s not the first time it’s been tried.
Last year, Congress rejected an attempt to create a space force. And this year’s defense budget bill has already ruled out a new space force, separate from the Air Force, as far as the House and Senate are concerned.
So it remains unclear to everyone how Trump’s apparent executive order for the creation of the force, and his quest to have Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oversee it, will actually be realized.
It’s an idea that does not seem to have support, financially or politically, for the moment. Trump’s declaration won’t see the light of day without Congress if the Constitution is still intact.
By Fred Dunkley for Safehaven.com
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