Today’s Tidbits: May 1, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: May 1, 2018

Here are’s tidbits for May 1, 2018:  President Trump still wants a Space Force; Jeff Bezos says first humans on New Shepard soon, but no tickets yet.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

President Trump Still Wants a Space Force

President Trump appears to have become quite enamored with the idea of creating a Space Force as a new branch of the military.  He brought it up during an event at the White House today while presenting the U.S. Military Academy’s football team with the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for their victory in December’s Army-Navy match.  Addressing the Army cadets and West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Bob Caslen, he said:

You will be part of the five proud branches of the United States Armed Forces — Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.  And we’re actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force.  Does that make sense?  The Space Force, General.  You probably haven’t even heard that.  I’m just telling you now.  This is perhaps — because we’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force. — President Donald Trump

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) tried to create a Space Corps as part of the Air Force last year in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  It would have been analogous to the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy.  The effort was opposed by DOD, the White House and the Senate.  The compromise was to require a study, which is now underway.   Trump surprised many on March 13 by advocating for a Space Force during a speech to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, leaving Air Force officials to punt the next day when they testified at a previously scheduled Senate hearing.

HASC is not proposing a Space Corps or a Space Force in this year’s NDAA, at least not at the moment.  Its Strategic Forces subcommittee marked up the bill last Thursday proposing creation of a U.S. Space Command as a subordinate unified command of U.S. Strategic Command.  Subcommittee chairman Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) noted Trump’s support for a Space Force in his remarks on the bill, however, and said the subcommittee wants to lay the foundation for that.  Full committee markup is on May 9.

Jeff Bezos–No Tickets Yet, But First People Will Fly on New Shepard Soon

Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer (L) and Jeff Bezos, and Blue Origin (R). Screengrab

In an interview with Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer,  Jeff Bezos said that the first humans may launch into space on New Shepard by the end of this year or early next year, but “we won’t be selling tickets yet.”  He also said that Blue Origin’s orbital vehicle (New Glenn) will make its first flight in 2020.

Asked how he plans to spend a “net worth of a three-digit amount of billions,” Bezos replied that “the only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel.  That is basically it. … I am very lucky that I feel like I have a mission-driven purpose with Blue Origin that is, I think, incredibly important for civilization long term.”

The video of the interview and a transcript are posted on Business Insider’s website [].  Bezos has a lot more to say about his vision for space — “millions of people, and then billions of people, and then finally a trillion people in space” — and other topics.

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