Trump signing directive to clean up space junk

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2018

In an unexpected announcement, President Trump has ordered the creation of a new branch of the U.S. military to ensure "American dominance in space".

Cabinet members will take part in the afternoon meeting at the White House, as well as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, retired astronauts and scientists. 'The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers'.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the new space policy directive Monday, as the National Space Council convenes. "We don't have numbers behind how much value, but are sure it will still be less than the large programs", such as the F-35 fighter jet, the Navy Virginia class submarines and Air Force B-21 Raider bomber, Ferguson said.

Ever since the Space Age started with the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, there has been a military and national security aspect to space, even though there are treaties and a United Nations committee that explicitly talk about keeping space a place of peace. "Space Policy Directive 3 will see the Defense Department maintain a catalog of space objects, while the Commerce Department is responsible for providing warnings of non-classified data to commercial satellite operators and civilian organizations". The president said that these space plans are "great not only good in terms of jobs and everything else, but "great for the psyche of our country".

Trump also said he is working to return man to the moon.

Although he believes the military today is dominant in space, he wants more, Trump told Dunford: "Congratulations on your tremendous success but we're going to have far more success".

The idea of a space force that would oversee those efforts as a stand-alone Pentagon entity has surfaced several times in the past, but the Pentagon has resisted such calls, leaving it to U.S. Air Force Space Command to oversee such efforts. We've compiled some of the best social media reactions to Donald Trump's Space Force and references to science fiction below. The U.S. now has no vessels in service that are able to carry humans into space.

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At the White House on Monday, Trump talked about the Space Force in the context of his broader concerns about the United States' dominance in space being challenged by China and Russian Federation.

The service branches have yet to issue statements in response to Mr. Trump's order, and it remains unclear what role NASA would play in the creation of the new space-based military branch.

Indeed, President Trump mentioned that he was considering the idea of Space Force back in March, and then in May told an audience that he was "seriously thinking" of adding a sixth military branch. "Too many missions at stake", U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, said on Twitter.

He was unclear on whether that would make the first artificial satellite (Sputnik), the first animal to orbit the Earth (Laika), the first man in orbit (Yuri Gagarin), the first man to walk in space (Alexey Leonov) and the first woman in orbit (Valentina Tereshkova), somehow, retroactively American. A Joint Chiefs of Staff official said "space is a warfighting domain" and that the Joint Chiefs of Staff will work with the Pentagon, Congress, and other stakeholders to follow the president's guidance.

The Pentagon and NASA track more than 500,000 pieces of space junk circling the Earth, including about 1,730 operating satellites.

The Trump Administration would do well to let these peaceful, private initiatives develop, as opposed to crowding them out by launching the government's most bloated bureaucracy into space.

Other reports by GizPress

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