Trump announces bizarre space mission
HOUSTON, we have a problem. And so does the rest of the United States.
President Donald Trump has announced his intention to build America a "Space Force".
Not sure what that means? Neither, but by the sounds of it he wants to fund an astronautical army that will quite literally patrol the universe.
"It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space," Mr Trump said before a meeting of his National Space Council.
"We have the Air Force, and we're going to have the space force," he added later. "Separate but equal."
The president phrased it as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russia and other countries leading us".
It would include preparing for war in space and protecting US satellites from potential destruction.
The US is a member of the Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.
That said, so many questions remain. Who will pay for it? How much will it cost? How will it interact with NASA and the Air Force? Can Trump even do this without authorisation from Congress? Is this super necessary, or merely a distraction from more important issues?
Naturally, the internet is having a field day:
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump says one of the first Space Force Missions will be to put a man on the Sun...— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) 18 June 2018
On a more serious note, others have suggested the President is well aware of how ridiculous the idea is, but is hoping the comic backlash will distract from the controversy over separating immigrant parents from their children.
While we’re talking about the Space Force, let’s not forget:— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) 18 June 2018
4645 dead Americans in Puerto Rico
2700 children separated from their parents
96 Americans killed by guns daily
20 indictments in the Russia investigation
and Flint still doesn’t have clean water
Don’t be distracted!
Mr Trump is currently under fire over his "zero tolerance" policy to undocumented migrants entering the US, introduced in April.
Adults are now immediately charged and jailed and their children taken away from them in traumatising circumstances - in a policy that's been deemed "cruel", "shameful" and "inhumane".
A defiant Mr Trump today insisted America could not become a "migrant camp" or "refugee holding facility", and that "a country without borders is not a country at all".
- with wires
Trump Admin: "Our hands are tied; Congress is the only body that can act to prevent us from separating families at the border; it's a law! We can't help it!"— Katherine Cross (@Quinnae_Moon) 18 June 2018
Also Trump: "I DECREE THE EXISTENCE OF A SPACE FORCE! PEW PEW!"
That awkward moment when the President who couldn't get a wall built says he's going to create the best Space Force in the universe.— Richard Hine (@richardhine) 18 June 2018