(SOUNDBITE) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We're going to have the space force..." President Trump says he's ordered the Department of Defense to begin creating a space force as a 6th branch of the military….
(SOUNDBITE) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "our destiny beyond the earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security/ It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space.
We must have American dominance in space" But that may not be so easy… The United States is a member of the Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space… And it mandates that the moon and other celestial bodies may only be used for peaceful purposes… (SOUNDBITE) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "we are going to have the air force and we're going to have the space force..
Separate but equal.
Trump is scaling up U.S. space exploration as a hedge against Russia and China who are also eager to be the superpowers of the outerworld… In December, Trump signed a directive enabling astronauts to return to the moon for the first time since 1972..
He also wants US astronauts to go to Mars…and is promoting American entrepreneurial efforts, along with NASA to lead the mission.
Elon Musk's SpaceX company already has plans to launch an unmanned mission to the Red Planet in 2022.
"I've always said that rich guys seem to like rockets so all those rich guys that are dying for our real estate to launch those rockets… we won't charge you too much, just go ahead, if you beat us to Mars, you'd be very happy and even more famous..
They do like rockets, they like those rockets…" Rockets that Trump says will form an important part of his strategy for US dominance in space.