President Donald Trump on Monday said he wants America to have a “space force” charged with protecting the US in, well, space. Trump also signed an executive order meant to create the space force, which would be the sixth branch of the US military.
He then asked Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to oversee the creation of the new service. If it’s officially created, the Air Force would likely give up all of its space duties to the space force, including preparing for war in space and protecting US satellites from harm.
“We have the Air Force, and we’re going to have the space force,” Trump said during a speech from the White House. “Separate but equal.”
However, the White House text of the order doesn’t actually feature a directive to create the space force. Reporters didn’t get any advance notice that Trump had made the decision, and the Pentagon is not answering questions about it. Lawmakers and staff on the Hill didn’t know this was coming — and creating a space force may require a vote.
For those and other reasons, I have many questions about what, exactly, just took place. For instance:
- Can Trump unilaterally create a space force?
- … Or does he need congressional authorization, as experts say?
- Will Trump ever wear a spacesuit?
- Would lawmakers approve a new space force?
- What will the military equipment look like? Rockets? Lightsabers?
- Who will pay for the space force?
- Did Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis know about Trump’s decision, even though he’s against a space force?
- Did the Air Force know about Trump’s decision, even though it’s against a space force?
- Will the training facilities for space force troops be called a “space camp”? Please let that be a thing.
- Can the US set up a base on the moon? Newt Gingrich promised one.
- What will the space force uniforms look like?
- Who will write the official space force song?
- What will a space force challenge coin look like?
- Where will the headquarters for the space force be?
- Did Trump get this idea from Star Wars, Star Trek, Spaceship Troopers, or some combination of the three?
- When will the US send its first space force member go to space?
- People who serve in the Army are soldiers. People who serve in the Navy are sailors. People who serve in the Marines are Marines. People who serve in the Air Force are airmen. But what will we call people who serve in the space force — space cadets?
- Will troops in the new service wear space helmets?
- Will there be a separate department for the space force, or will it fall under another service (like how the Marine Corps falls under the Department of the Navy)?
- Trump has yet to visit American troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. Will he visit troops in space?
- How will the space force interact with NASA?
- Whom should I call to answer all my questions? Seriously: The Pentagon and Air Force are barely answering any questions.
- What should we call the military official in charge of the space force? The Space Commander? Master Space? Supreme Space Leader? Darth Commander? Master Jedi? El Jefe del Espacio?
- What will be the first space force acquisition project to go completely over budget and take forever to be used? My guess is an X-wing-style fighter.
- Does Trump want a Death Star? He totally wants a Death Star. You know he does.