Late Thursday, President Trump and his associates queried those subscribed to their mailing list for their opinion on six potential logos that could be used to symbolize the announced Space Force branch of the U.S. military. according to The Telegraph. The fundraising email was sent to those who support Trump’s administration and his likely bid to retain the office of President in the 2020 election.
The icons range in aesthetic design and subject matter from the rather mundane — a simple red circle bearing the words “Space Force” amidst a field of stars — to something more elaborate and colorful in the form of a spacecraft lifting off, backed by a plume of purple-red flames. In toto, the designs seem classic in their iconography, reminiscent of the emblems borne by the covers of golden-age science fiction paperbacks, evocative of a time of imagination and space travel in which it was projected that man might live in unseen galaxies in a matter of generations.
The logos triggered a passive-aggressive rejoinder on social media, with the Russian Embassy taking to Twitter earlier today to make a mockery of the designs and the very concept of Trump’s proposal to create a dedicated branch of the military concerned with off-planet affairs. Politico reports that the @RusEmbUSA account posted a simple missive in text, stating “Good Morning, Space Forces!” coinciding with an attendant image created in the retro-futuristic style correlating to Trump’s own favored designs, bearing Russian script.
Good Morning, Space Forces!
— Russia in USA ???????? (@RusEmbUSA) August 10, 2018
During a recent Minnesota rally in support of his administration, President Trump spoke to thousands assembled, promising the upcoming Space Force to resounding and enthusiastic cheers. Chants broke out of “Space Force! Space Force” as Trump looked out upon the crowd. He spoke to them, promising a future for the newest branch of the American military, to grand reception.
President Trump at Duluth. Minnesota Rally: "We are going to be going to Space!"
— The Columbia Bugle ???????? (@ColumbiaBugle) June 21, 2018
“So we have the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard, now we’re going to have the Space Force!”
Space Force all the way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence, in regard to the necessity for the nation to be among the first to establish a presence beyond the confines of Planet Earth and the dangers posed by competing counties, spoke to an audience on Thursday regarding the potential Space Force.
“Now the time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation… China and Russia have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to manoeuvre their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems.”
This rhetoric coincides with recent statements made by the Pentagon’s top engineer, Michael Griffin, as he spoke to the Space and Missile Defense Symposium being held Wednesday in Huntsville, Alabama. CNBC reports that Griffin, a former NASA administrator whom is currently serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, was very clear in his excoriation of both Russia and China for having pushed the metaphorical envelope on the matter of weaponizing space, particularly in Earth’s orbit.
“We are not the people who choose to weaponize space, but if we are challenged we will respond… The Defense Department is today working on a means to defend our existing capabilities and we will be working on methods to project our national power onto our adversaries… It is our adversaries, not us, who have chosen to weaponize this type of capability.”
The Trump 2020 campaign intends to sell merchandise related to the launch of Space Force according to CNN, though the success of such a venture remains in doubt. Whether purchases might buy a Space Force hat or t-shirt in authentic support of the notion — or perhaps in ironic derision — may not matter to the Trump administration, which seems bent on pushing the new branch forward into existence before the next election season.