Trump Talks Mars, Rockets, Space Force — But Not the Moon

Trump Talks Mars, Rockets, Space Force — But Not the Moon

President Trump visited the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego today.  In an approximately 25 minute speech, he  focused on military themes and famous Marines, including John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.  Several minutes of the speech were devoted to civil, commercial and military space programs and he said he was considering creation of a Space Force akin to the Air Force.  He made no reference to last year’s efforts by the House Armed Services Committee to establish a Space Corps.

President Trump speaks at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar,  March 13, 2018. Screengrab.

Quotable space-related quotes from the speech:

  • [Praising Marines in general, he listed some of the most famous ones, including…] “In 1962, when America needed a man to board a rocket, launch into space, and orbit the Earth for the first time we called on a Marine, the one and only John Glenn.”
  • “In space, the United States is going to do Colonel Glenn proud, we are finally going to lead again. You see what’s happening.  You see the rockets going up, left and right. You haven’t seen that for a long time.”  [Editor’s Note: rockets have been launched into space routinely in the United States for decades.  The President’s reference is unclear.]
  • “Very  soon we’re  going to Mars.  You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won.  …  You wouldn’t even be thinking about it.” [Editor’s note:  He did not mention that under his predecessor, Barack Obama, NASA was focused on on sending humans to Mars.  His administration is instead focused on returning them to the surface of the Moon, which Obama wanted to bypass, before going to Mars.]
  • “My new national strategy  for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain just like the land, air and sea.
  • “We may even have a Space Force.  Develop another one.  …  We’ll  have the Air Force. We’ll have the Space Force.  We have the Army. The Navy.  … I was saying it the other day because we are doing a tremendous amount of work in space and I said maybe we need a new Force.  We’ll call it the Space Force. And I was not really serious, and then I said — what a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that.  That could happen.  That could be the big breaking story.  Look at all those people back there [gesturing to the media covering the talk].  Look at that.  Ah, that fake news [applause and shouting].  They know, they understand.”  [Editor’s note:  he did not mention the bipartisan efforts by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) and Jim Turner (D-Tennessee) last year to create a Space Force in the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act.  They did not succeed, in part because his Administration opposed it.   Rogers and Cooper said last week they will continue their efforts.]
  • “So think of that.  Space Force.  Because we’re spending a lot.  And we have a lot of private money coming in.   Tremendous.  You saw what happened the other day.”
  • “From the very beginning many of our astronauts have been soldiers, and sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines, and our service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the  stars. … We’re way, way behind, but we’re catching up fast.  So fast that nobody even believes it.”  [Editor’s note:  It is not clear by what measure he concludes the United States is behind in space.]

He went on to many other topics, such as the border wall, human trafficking, sanctuary cities, and missile defense.

A video of the event is posted on C-SPAN [].




User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.