Six weeks after Trump told a crowd of U.S. Marines at Miramar Air Station in San Diego of a proposal to expand the military's reach into space - the President is at it again; teasing the idea of a space force to a White House crowd on Tuesday.
Trump made the comments while presenting the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the Army football team for its victory over both the Navy and Air Force last year.
"We're actually thinking of a sixth [military branch] — and that would be the Space Force," said Trump, after naming off the existing military branches. "Does that make sense? Because we are getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force."
Trump to the Army football team: "You will be part of the 5 proud branches of the U.S. armed forces -- Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force & the Coast Guard. We're actually thinking of a 6th -- the Space Force. Does that make sense?.... We're getting very big in space." pic.twitter.com/cZNgJeX1F1— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2018
A few of those in attendance standing behind Trump seemed to have issues taking the idea seriously:
The looks on the faces of these Army football players when Donald Trump starts talking about the "Space Force" again have me dying 😂☠ pic.twitter.com/bhese16qds— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) May 1, 2018
When Trump floated the idea to Marines at Miramar Air Station in March, he said We are finally going to lead again,” Trump said. “You see what’s happening. You see the rockets going up left and right. You haven’t seen that in a long time. Very soon we’re going to Mars. You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won. That I can tell you. You wouldn’t even be thinking about it. You wouldn’t be thinking about it,” he added.
The President also said we're going to Mars "very soon."
“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea. We may even have a space force,” Trump revealed.
“We have the air force. We will have a space force. We have the Army, Navy. I was saying at the other day because we are doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the space force, and I was not really serious and that I thought what a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that. That could happen. That could be the big breaking story,” said Trump.
Did someone say Space Force? pic.twitter.com/I5S5z9qmgM— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 13, 2018
Proponents and critics have debated the merit of a dedicated "Space Corps" for decades, which would take over the Air Force's current operations in space - with some pointing out that the United States has been a party to an international treaty that limits military activities in space since 1967.
Trump again blathering about a military Space Force.— You Were Warned (@RufusKings1776) May 1, 2018
Does Donald Trump know about The Outer Space Treaty of 1967?
Does Donald Trump know anything?
All around Trump are also clueless?#SpaceForce pic.twitter.com/Y5fffVPhj3
Say what? Trump said we are creating a 6th branch.. "Space Force"..— ALT- Immigration 🛂 (@ALT_uscis) May 1, 2018
Dude, there is a treaty out there. OUTER SPACE TREATY: 105 sovereign countries signed it and 20+ are in the process of completing ratification..
DUDE, ask questions first.. or GOOGLE! pic.twitter.com/ushHuvnqQO
The Outer Space Treaty restricts states from testing any weapons in outer space, as well as the establishment of military bases on the moon or other celestial bodies. The orbital deployment of weapons of mass destruction is also expressly prohibited.
Reactions to Trump's space force have varied:
Who else is building infrastructure in space?— Trump The Hill🏛 #ShadowBanned (@TrumpTheHill) May 1, 2018
Who are our biggest geopolitical threats?
But Space Force is an idiotic idea because Trump said it. Right? pic.twitter.com/UkG9kLVnY5
TRUMP NAMES FIRST SECRETARY OF THE SPACE FORCE pic.twitter.com/XDVeVbvfLE— Ivan the K™ (@IvanTheK) May 1, 2018
Excellent news, everyone -- "Space Force" is trending again. pic.twitter.com/4x2OcXgerm— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) May 1, 2018
Trump already has recruitment efforts started for his Space Force. pic.twitter.com/Obc76PXIMe— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) March 13, 2018