Astronaut Mark Kelly blasts Trump’s Space Force plan, calls it ‘a dumb idea’

File photo, U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, right, a member of the crew of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, is, by means of safety glasses, with his brother, Mark Kelly, after a press conference at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, March 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly has lambasted President Trump’s proposal to create a Space Force, saying: the air force has the tasks Trump is talking about and labeling the plan a “dumb idea.”

“This is a stupid idea,” Kelly wrote on Twitter. “The air force does this already. That is their job. What is next, we’re going submarines to the 7e branch and call it the “under-the-sea violence?”

This is a stupid idea. The air force does this already. That is their job. What is next, we’re going submarines to the 7e branch and call it the “under-the-sea violence?”

— Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) 19 June 2018

Kelly, who has already been mentioned as a possible Democractic congress candidate in the past (he is married to the former Democractic Congressman Gabby Giffords) referred to the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), a unit of the air force focused on the space.


According to the AFSPC website, its mission is to “to resilient and affordable space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation.” It has more than 36,000 people work at 134 locations around the world in support of this mission.

The headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. the AFSPC the possibilities of facilities and range safety control for the conduct of DOD, NASA and commercial launches, command and control of all DOD satellites.

The possibilities also include “continuous global coverage,” space surveillance satellites and space debris, while adding that “to maintain space superiority is a new feature to the protection of AMERICAN space assets.”

On Monday, Trump announced he is directing the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” as an independent military service branch aims to ensure U.s. supremacy in space, a directive that seemed to take officials in the ministry of defence by surprise. The creation of a new joint military command is largely the framework of the Congress, which should provide for the authority and any funding or shifting money to a new unit.

The Ministry of Defence is already in the middle of a congress with a mandate from the review of the space force problem. The study began in March, with a mid-term evaluation in August and a final report due December 31. It is not clear whether the president’s comments Monday were intended to override or influence of the study.

In March document review, the Pentagon said it has already made organizational changes to beef up the size of the Space Force, but is the rate of others. The document sent to Congress said the review will look at research, opportunities, acquisitions and joint warfighting needs, and will assess whether the Space Corps concept should be implemented.”


Others weigh in

Other experts have weighed in on the creation of a Space of Power, with some saying that it may be a good idea if done properly.

“This would be politically very difficult to do,” Dr. John L. Crassidis, Samuel P. Capen professor at the University of Buffalo, told Fox News. “I don’t necessarily think that having an agency take on space is a bad idea if it is done properly.”

Dr. Crassidis added that space debris is a big problem, saying: “there is a good chance that a collision with space debris] in the next 20 to 30 years could take place.”

As of 2013, NASA pointed out that there were more than 500,000 of them, and they have the potential to some serious damage to the space equipment, including satellites in orbit or even on mars.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, said the conversation about the proposed Space Power leads to “interesting times”, although Aldrin, who was caught on camera looking aghast when Trump talked about the space of last year, not to expand on what he meant by that.

And the calls to start (continue!) Interesting times!!

— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) 19 June 2018

In October 2017, Secy. of Defense James Mattis wrote letters to several members of congress, including Sen. John McCain (R.-Az.), the Chairman of the Committee on armed services, and he said “the creation of a new military service, and additional organizational layers in a time when we are focused on reducing the overhead and the integration of joint warfare functions.”

Fox News has reached the White House with a request to comment on this article.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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