President Trump announces Space Force, America's military presence in space

Trump announces plans for Pentagon to create'Space Force

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 us military.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the new space policy directive Monday, as the National Space Council convenes.

But his directive will task the Defense Department to begin the process of establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces. He can draw up a plan for a new service, but while President Trump unilaterally declared that he wants America to create a Space Force - a service to join the other five - that cannot actually happen unless Congress passes a law to make it so. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford responded "we got it" to Trump when he made the announcement Monday morning.

President Trump ordered the Department of Defense to, "immediately begin the process".

There has not yet been any response from other nations.

Trump had initially endorsed the idea of a Space Force in March, proclaiming, in a bit of Reagan-esque rhetoric, that "space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea". Now, Guardians of the Galaxy fans are suiting up to take aim at the new Space Force.

Mr. Trump hosted the National Space Council to sign a new directive to overhaul space traffic management and space debris tracking.

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.

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Democrats counter what the administration is doing is not law, it's policy and can be changed by the president. "The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", he added.

It's not clear whether or when the Space Force will be created.

The announcement both affirms and alters the content of Trump's previous remarks on adding space to the broad area under the USA military's actionable purview.

The term "separate but equal" became a legal precedent following an 1896 Supreme Court ruling Plessy v. Ferguson that said the use of racially separate facilities, if equal, was not discrimination.

Americans first landed on the moon in 1969, reaching a goal set by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and capping a decade-long space race between Washington and Moscow. Dan Lamothe covers the Pentagon and the USA military for The Washington Post. Space-related missions are now handled by the Air Force.

NASA is developing concepts for an orbital "gateway" space station circling the moon that would serve as a base of operations, a technology testbed and a jumping off point for future flights into deep space.

The meeting convened to promote efforts to streamline the regulations around commercial space activities, from earth imaging to communications satellites to rocket launches.

"The primary effect is going to be hopefully more timely and rapid access to information", Pace told reporters before the meeting.

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