Donald Trump proposes a "Space Force" and the Internet loses it
There have been exciting developments in space news lately, with the first alien asteroid crossing into our atmosphere, and Elon Musk launching a car on a mission to Mars on the world's most powerful rocket. Also, we're getting a new Star Wars movie every year, and that's pretty cool. I can't wait for the spinoff "I, Lobot."
President Donald Trump has expressed an interest in the cosmos. This came as a surprise to many, given his administration's assault on science, removing environmental protections, ignoring the climate change crisis and stepping out of the Paris agreement, which every other country in the world embraced. But last December he ordered NASA to return to the moon, and announced plans for a trip to Mars. It's time to Make the Universe Great Again. #MUGA!
However, President's latest proposal about space has people scratching their heads. During a speech at a Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, he said the United States needs a military branch called a "Space Force."
"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. We're 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 then I said, 'What a great idea!' Maybe we'll have to do that."
It's unclear what exactly the role of the Space Force would be, since we have yet to discover other intelligent life, and so far, no giant Armageddon asteroids are hurtling toward the Earth. Some speculate that the President was referencing to "Space Corps," a proposed plan to establish military operations in space for national security purposes. But that was left out of the defense policy bill last year. Most likely, the President was just veering off script, riffing to entertain the crowd, so it's hard to tell the degree of seriousness.
But upon hearing the words "Space Force," the Internet lost their collective minds. People responded by tweeting references to Star Wars, Spaceballs and Buzz Lightyear. We worried Trump would turn into a dictator. Instead, he might turn into Darth Vader. (Or Dark Helmet.)
Although the concept of Space Force sounds ridiculous, there was a time when self-driving cars sounded ridiculous too, so who knows? If we ever get to the point of colonizing other planets, a military force of some kind in space seems essential.
If nothing else, you have give President Trump credit for being pretty entertaining sometimes. Few people he'd float that idea at the Marine Corps Air Station . I just hope he doesn't propose a plan to build a wall around the Earth, and make the Martians pay for it. (Because they're definitely not going to pay for it, and everybody knows it.)