On June 18th, 2018, President Trump directed the Department of Defense in a public statement to “immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.“
This was only one of several statements made in a speech in the East Room of the White House Monday afternoon, which signified the administration’s commitment to doubling down on U.S.-led space exploration.
While not much detail has been laid out into the key functions and responsibility of the Space Force, the President on Monday said “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.” He cited China and Russia as our competition in this frontier.
Beyond the space force, the President also signed a directive at the end of his speech which will “work together with American industry to implement a state-of-the-art framework for space traffic management.” In addition to this, President Trump pledged “an eventual mission to Mars— which is actually going to happen very quickly.”
The President went on to encourage the private sector’s participation in this newfound pledge to space. Talking about “all of those rich guys that are dying for our real estate to launch their rockets,” Trump pledged to allow private organizations to use government facilities for launches in an effort to bring in all facets of American ingenuity to the forefront of this adventure ahead.
Trump also went on to criticize “out-of-date space regulations,” though he did not mention any specifically. He pledged to modernize them as part of his new omni-push for space exploration.