President Donald Trump’s administration outlined a plan for creating a “Space Force” by 2020. As Reuters reported earlier today, the administration’s proposal needs U.S. Congress approval, but critics view it as unnecessary and expensive.
“The next generation of Americans to confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space will be wearing the uniform of the United States of America,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said today in a Pentagon addres.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis pointed out that countries such as Russia, China would be ready to strike U.S. space-based capabilities, and according to Mattis, this is “becoming a contested war fighting domain and we have to adapt to that reality.”
But, not everyone agrees with Trump, Pence, and Mattis. Former NASA astrounat Mark Kelly, who participated in several NASA missions to the space station, called the Trump administration’s aggressive space force plan “redundant,” and “wasteful,” according to The Hill.
“The only person that I’ve heard say this is a fantastic idea is the commander in chief, the president of the United States. Everybody else says it’s redundant, its wasteful.”
According to Kelly, “there is a threat out there,” but “it’s being handled by the U.S. Air Force today, doesn’t make sense to build a whole other level of bureaucracy in an [already] incredibly bureaucratic [Defense Department].”
As The Hill noted, some lawmakers expressed support for Donald Trump’s space force plan. Notably, representatives Mike Rogers, and Jim Cooper – the former a Republican, and the latter a Democrat – released a joint statement describing Trump’s plan as a “much-needed” advancement in policy.
For former astrounat Mark Kelly, criticizing the president’s space force efforts is nothing new. In June this year, as the New York Post reported, Kelly called Trump’s proposal a “dumb idea.”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2018
In June this year, the POTUS announced that the administration is making an effort to create the sixth branch of the U.S. Air Force, a space force. As The Telegraph noted, the Pentagon – which has not created a new service since the air force, created in 1946 – was taken aback by the announcement. Furthermore, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who expressed support for the space force today, had initially opposed it.
Former astrounat Mark Kelly has, however, remained consistent in his criticism of Trump’s space force. His twin brother Scott, also an astrounat, criticized the Trump administration’s proposal, pointing out that the United States should seek to create a peaceful space plan, according to NBC News.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Mark and Scott Kelly are taking part in what NASA calls the Twins Study, an experiment meant to help humanity learn how the human body changes in space.