Next Trump announces plans for Pentagon to create 'Space Force'

The Air Force's X-37B space plane

Catching observers off guard, President Trump, in remarks before a National Space Council Meeting at the White House Monday, officially directed to Pentagon to establish a sixth branch of the military, a "space force," to ensure American dominance on the high frontier.

Despite what it sounds like, it's not going to be like Luke Skywalker fighting wars in space. USA worries over Chinese and Russian development of powerful space technology and weaponry, mostly against satellites and GPS systems, have done much to drive USA government efforts in the sector.

"We must have American dominance in space", he told reporters in televised comments.

Dr. Burns was on the president's transition team for NASA.

The president framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us".

While Russia has a branch of the military called "space forces", their activities are "purely defensive", she stressed.

More news: New 'Time' magazine cover shows Trump looking down at crying migrant child

It's unclear how the project would be funded, or how much it would cost. Member states who have agreed to these terms may not establish military bases, test weapons in space or on any other celestial body, and are not permitted to use weapons of mass destruction in orbit, around the Earth, in outer space, or on any celestial body.

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 doesn't dominate one small geographic area - it dominates continents, oceans", said Francona.

Space remains one of the few areas where U.S. and Russian Federation continue worldwide cooperation. Russia, which already has a space force, reacted with concern.

Zakharova said this step merely confirms that Washington "is hatching plans for putting weapons in space with a view to the possibility of conducting combat operations there". In May, he said, "But to look at the problem means we have to look afresh at it, and where are the specific problems, break them down, and if an organizational construct has to change, then I'm wide open to it". But the Outer Space Treaty is created to prevent such conflict.

According to Francona, there are only three powers capable of operating a space-based military presence: Russia, China and the US. "We hope all sides will make a joint effort to earnestly preserve lasting peace and calm in outer space". United States emphasis on achieving "dominance" rather than "presence" has, in turn, escalated Russian and Chinese rhetoric and concerns.

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