VP Pence Unveils Trump's Space Force; Will Cost $8 Billion Over 5 Years

Back in March, President Trump first introduced the idea of a US "space force", renewing a long-running debate that began almost 20 years ago whether the Pentagon’s space activities should be moved to a new command. Then in June, Trump explicitly called for the new branch to be created, despite resistance from the Air Force which oversees military space programs.

Fast forward to today, when Vice President Mike Pence announced the first steps in the creation of a space force as a entirely new military branch.

Speaking alongside Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon Thursday, Pence announced that "establishing the Space Force is an idea whose time has come."

And while big questions remain - while the Pentagon has begun the process of establishing Space Force as a 6th branch of the U.S. military, only Congress has the power to establish a new branch of the military - one thing is clear: Trump's reorganization of US defense will cost a lot of money, and for the first time we learned just how much when Mike Pence said that the Trump administration will call on Congress to allocate $8 billion over the next five years to establish the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.

"It’s not enough to have an American presence in space," Pence said. "We must have American dominance in space. And so we will."

"Our adversaries have transformed space into a war fighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from this challenge," Pence said. "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States space force will be that strength in the years ahead," he added.

Today there are "tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians and contractors operating and supporting our space systems, together they are the eyes and ears of America’s warfighters around the globe", Pence said.

Trump approved:

The first step in the creation of Trump's space force calls for the creation of U.S. Space Command, led by a four-star flag officer. The second step is the creation of an "elite group of joint warfighters specializing in the domain of space."

The report also calls for a Space Development Agency to develop new technologies, and establishing a new civilian position to oversee the standup of Space Force - an assistant secretary of defense for space.

Curiously, while Secretary of Defense James Mattis previously disapproved of the idea saying last year he opposed creating additional bureaucracy at the Pentagon, on Thursday Mattis - perhaps impressed with all those billions that would be collected from taxpayers - changed his mind and said "space is one of our vital national interests" and is "no longer a new domain."

Still, a major hurdle remains as Congress would have to approve a new military service, and lawmakers have been divided on the idea. The new branch would need to compete for money with other big, politically protected Defense Department priorities that Congress already funds. However, as Pence said today, the administration is already working with Congress to get approval for the Space Force service branch, including Reps. Thornberry, Smith, Rogers, Cooper, and will ask for authorization in FY20 NDAA.

What is strange is that the U.S. already has a space-based military footprint as Bloomberg notes:

The sky is teeming with spy satellites and other platforms that support government surveillance, communications, weather forecasting and other activities. The Air Force also has a top-secret aircraft, the X-37B, built by Boeing Co., which orbits the earth for extended periods.

But why spend less, when one can spend more?

As Bloomberg further adds, the primary driver behind the push to formalize a space branch of the U.S. armed forces is motivated by space investment by Russia and China. In 2007, China fired a missile to destroy an aged weather satellite, demonstrating in a dramatic fashion its ability to deploy anti-satellite weapons.

For those curious, following Mattis' speech the DoD is expected to release a report to Congress on the creation of a separate Space Force.

* * *

Predictably, it did not take long for the Democrats to lash out at the idea. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Thursday blasted the Trump administration's commitment to a space force, and suggested its only moving forward because Republicans won't speak out against it.

"The VP just announced a new military branch - a 'Space Force,' because no R is willing to tell POTUS it’s a dumb idea," Schatz tweeted.

"Although 'Space Force' won’t happen, it’s dangerous to have a leader who cannot be talked out of crazy ideas," he added, urging followers to elect Democrats in the November midterms.

Comments

hedgeless_horseman Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

 

So Trump's Space Farce will use Russian rocket engines?

He said Russia could in particular stop exports to the United States of the RD-180 rocket engine, which powers the first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. 

Lawmakers in Washington had to partially roll back a 2014 ban on Russian engines in military and spy satellite launches due to US reliance on the RD-180.

Since its introduction in 2002, the Atlas 5 has carried the top-secret X-37B space plane, the New Horizons probe that flew by Pluto and the Curiosity rover that has been exploring the surface of Mars.

It is slated to take astronauts to the International Space Station in its first manned flight in 2019 following several delays.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/09/russia-threatens-ban-sale-s…

And by "Space Farce" they really mean, "Low Earth Orbit Farce," even after more than 50 years...

Did Elon Musk just confirm that the moon landings were faked?

Elon Musk just announced that SpaceX abandons propulsive landing plans for Red Dragon mission to Mars.

In my opinion, we should not be surprised.  

NASA supposedly used propulsive landing for the Apollo missions to the moon...in 1969.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/did-elon-musk-just-confirm-mo…

 

Skateboarder hedgeless_horseman Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:39 Permalink

The Incal is the greatest sci-fi work to ever go down. Moebius' works inspired Star Wars and all kinds of modern takes on the space and different-world scene.

Moebius was the finest illustrator of our times, and Jodorowsky one of the finest storytellers.

I would be happy to personally mail you a copy.

https://www.amazon.com/Incal-Alejandro-Jodorowsky/dp/1594650934/

And check out this gallery of his works that someone put together - beautiful!

http://www.comicbookcritic.net/jean-giraud-aka-moebius-art-gallery/

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

Yellow_Snow Giant Meteor Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:31 Permalink

What a waste this will be...  more fraud and corrupt contracts to the .1%er's...

JPL is the worst - total fraud - Mars rover hoax

The whole NASA space program is a hoax - (Why they couldn't land the way they said they did)

Space is the black hole of government fraud - sheep have no idea how much they were duped...

INVESTIGATE

- Mars Rover (on earth)

- Chinese missions (under water - bubbles everywhere)

- ISS (orbits uninhabited - crew is on green screens)

- Apollo missions (cheap 1960's SiFi studio production)

 

In reply to by Giant Meteor

BrownCoat Yellow_Snow Thu, 08/09/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

Developing outer space (even with militaristic motives) peeks a typical American's interest. 

First, science fiction is a big industry. People (more than Americans) enjoy the genre.

Second, the space race to the Moon captured the imagination of a few generations. The sunsetting empire wants to recapture its past glory.

This is not a bad idea. During the 60s, huge resources were funneled into educating children in math and science. IMO I would welcome teaching STEM in place of the heavy, heavy doses of PC indoctrination students get today.

In reply to by Yellow_Snow

Skateboarder TeamDepends Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

Black Sabbath wrote a song about exactly that, way back when.

Into the Void!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx6IwshTL6M

Rocket engines burning fuel so fast
Up into the night sky they blast
Through the universe the engines whine
Could it be the end of man and time?

Back on earth the flame of life burns low
Everywhere is misery and woe
Pollution kills the air, the land, the sea
Man prepares to meet his destiny, yeah

Rocket engines burning fuel so fast
Up into the black sky so vast
Burning metal through the atmosphere
Earth remains in worry, hate and fear

With the hateful battles raging on
Rockets flying to the glowing sun
Through the empires of eternal void
Freedom from the final suicide

Freedom fighters sent out to the sun
Escape from brainwashed minds and pollution
Leave the earth to all it's sin and hate
Find another world where freedom waits, yeah

Past the stars in fields of ancient void
Through the shields of darkness where they find
Love upon a land a world unknown
Where the sons of freedom make their home

Leave the earth to Satan and his slaves
Leave them to their future in their graves
Make a home where love is there to stay
Peace and happiness in every day

In reply to by TeamDepends

jin187 Mementoil Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:49 Permalink

Well, they got kicked off the socials, and GoDaddy canceled the domains for all their storm-whatever.com websites, so they have nowhere else to go.  Besides, it's good that they all congregate here.  Makes it easier for the Mossad to track them down, if they decide to actually do something instead of just making laughable shitposts.

In reply to by Mementoil