President Trump announced plans to create a sixth branch of the military known as the “Space Force” while speaking in the White House East Room during a meeting of his National Space Council on Monday.
Trump said that the Space Force would pave the way for “American dominance” in space, while bolstering national security and the economy with the creation of jobs. He also said that he has already directed the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to “immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
“We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force: separate but equal, it is going to be something so important,” he said, according to CNN.
Twitter users were quick to mock Trump for his plan to take on outer space, and many expressed anger that the announcement came in the midst of controversy over the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the Mexican border.
Actress and “Crooked Media” host Grace Parra criticized Trump for announcing the Space Force despite the ongoing nature of the controversies that have lasted throughout his presidency.
He's creating a Space Force while —
—Flint still doesn't have clean water
—Children are being ripped from their families at the border
—DACA is still under fire
—Climate change continues to erode our globe
…but yeah sure launching missiles at Mars seems great https://t.co/r2pG200bBG
— Grace Parra (@GraceParra360) June 18, 2018
CNN political commentator Keith Boykin pointed out that the wording of Trump’s announcement bore a striking resemblance to the language that characterized racial segregation under Jim Crow.
Trump: “We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force — separate but equal.”
“Separate but equal” was the racial segregation doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson and overturned in 1954 in Brown. pic.twitter.com/uy8pmfW9Um
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 18, 2018
Civil rights activist Michael Skolnik insisted that the Space Force would not distract him from the ongoing crisis at the Mexican border.
A space force will not distract us from the fact that @realDonaldTrump is responsible for the torture of children.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) June 18, 2018
A fan account for “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader offered his personal services to the president.
Dear President Trump,
If you want to create a Space Force, I’m your guy. I was once Supreme Commmander of the Galactic Empire. Give me a call when you can.
— Darth Vader (@DepressedDarth) June 18, 2018
See more tweets responding to Trump’s announcement below.
We already have a Space Force. It manages the GPS satellites, government communications satellites, and keeps an eye on the crowded but crucial geosynchronous orbit (GEO).
There's really not much else for it to do.
— Jon Spaihts (@jonspaihts) June 18, 2018
This is embarrassing
"Big Rocket Man: President Trump *boldly* vows to create 'space force'" pic.twitter.com/tpdxcnj7jH
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) June 18, 2018
Trump's Space Force dream team pic.twitter.com/OZCUrnuio9
— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) June 18, 2018
Mom: “Did you crash the car/implement a policy that separates children from their families?”
Son: “Have you heard about space force?”
— Jordan Klepper (@jordanklepper) June 18, 2018
I never want to hear someone say “Yes, I’d be great if we could give everyone health care, but HOW are we gonna pay for it?” now that President Starship Troopers just made “Space Force” a thing https://t.co/zecOMv3CuW
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 18, 2018
Trump’s eventual plans for the Space Force include establishing a presence on the Moon and paving the way for a trip to Mars — although in order for the Space Force to become reality, Congress would first need to pass a law authorizing the creation of a new branch of the military.
“This time, we will do more than plant our flag and leave our footprints. We will establish a long-term presence, expand our economy, and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars,” Trump said ahead of a meeting with the National Space Agency.