Trump Calls for Space Force, Says We’re Going to Mars

Let me do a little fact checking in this 58 second clip.

Trump: “You see the rockets going up left and right. You haven’t seen that for a long time.”

— The U.S. has been number 1 or 2 in terms of launches for many years. And it has experienced far fewer failures than Russia over the past decade. Our launch rate is increasing thanks to SpaceX, but Trump’s claim that we were somehow lagging is ridiculous.

Trump: “Very soon, we’re going to Mars.”

— Umm…no, we’re not. The moon. Remember? We’re going back to the moon. You signed an executive order saying that like three months ago.

Trump: “You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won. That I can tell you. You wouldn’t even be thinking about it.”

— To REPEAT: We’re NOT going to Mars with you in charge. At least not anytime soon.

Trump: “You know, I was saying the other day because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, 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 this.'”

— OK so, I seem to recall this proposal was debated for months and eventually rejected. So, it’s not a new idea Trump magically came up with just the other day. And the time to weigh in to support it was a couple of months ago. It’s kind of what presidents are supposed to do.

  • ajp

    I don’t know what you saw, but what I saw was a really, really yuuuge announcement. It was great. It really, really was. Don’t waste my time with your facts. Fake news, people. Fake news! 😉

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Trump will be the first president to fire his way to a new branch of the armed forces. No doubt his next trick will be contract out a new wing for the pentagon -> hexagon then declare bankruptcy and fail to pay the contractors.

  • Terry Rawnsley

    As much as I despise the idiot, even I think he was joking. The problem is that he has said so many ludicrous things by now that it is hard to tell.

  • ReSpaceAge

    I thought Donny was for less government?

  • Tom Billings

    His platform is for less government expenditure for more government effect.

    That progressivism does not include the presently dominant strain of anti-military attitudes of the last 25 years.

    *If* done right, a Space Corps/Space Force can remove some of the agency costs of a many levels hierarchy in exchange for a separate and shorter hierarchy with fewer levels, and thus less agency cost. It can still be screwed up, especially if the congressional funding committees involved insist that nothing at their level change except for George Meany’s old strategy of “More!”.

  • Vladislaw

    A repeat of what I said elsewhere.

    Wow this will go up there with Gore invented the internet .. trump invented the space force it will go down with trump inventing the economic term/theory “priming the pump”

    “ECONOMIST: But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?

    TRUMP: It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll… you understand the expression “prime the pump”?


    TRUMP: We have to prime the pump.

    ECONOMIST: It’s very Keynesian.

    TRUMP: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?

    ECONOMIST: Priming the pump?

    TRUMP: Yeah, have you heard it?


    TRUMP: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

    ECONOMIST: It’s—

    TRUMP: Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before you can get something out.”

  • Vladislaw

    WOW and you post ANOTHER thing trump invented.. fake news

  • duheagle

    “Very soon, we’re going to Mars.”

    Could well prove true – for certain values of “we.”

  • AdmBenson

    Nothing says “We come in peace” like an astronaut carrying an automatic weapon.

    Team America, F… Yeah!

  • delphinus100

    Or “soon…”

    I mean, I’m sure it’ll happen before the Sun turns red giant, or continental drift changes coastal property values, but assuming I live an average lifetime, I’d kinda like it to happen within that.

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Have you seen the previous administration did to our military? Pentagon?! It only has 5 sides. They’re laughing at us, Russia, China – China’s military has a building with 8 sides! Does that shape even have a name?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I pay pretty close attention to the balance of forces around the world. Do you? Specifically, what weapons programs are you talking about, and what do they mean vis a vis Russian and Chinese systems? Be specific, because I can, and will in a discussion on this subject. You what to know what’s really killing the Pentagon? The budgetary black holes that are the Middle East and Afghanistan. Then there’s the inflation of the Chinese military that our business sector is hell bend on transferring as much technology and capital they can into, and your and my Walmart and Amazon habit.

  • voronwae

    A building with 8 sides is sometimes referred to as an octagon. See the Chuck Norris movie of the same name.

  • Elliot R.

    He’s probably talking about the InSight lander. Launching in May.

  • ReSpaceAge

    I’m pretty sure SpaceX will fly to the moon on an early flight of BFR/BFS. I guess about 2026. But I still don’t understand how they will be able to pull off the make fuel on Mars thing, to get BFS back from a Mars trip. They need to show me that stunt. I recall them saying they will have to mine ICE to make enough methane for return flights. Easier said than done.

  • Douglas Messier

    Then his comment is even more stupid. We wouldn’t be going to Mars if Hillary was in office? She would have canceled a mission that was originally set to launch two years ago? How long does he think it takes to plan and build a Mars lander? 14 months?

  • Douglas Messier

    Gore never claimed to have invented the Internet. His comments were about some hearings that helped pave the way for it to be more broadly used.

  • Elliot R.

    I’m not disputing that. The solution to dogmatic vilification of the opposing party (such as his implying hillary would have canceled InSight) isn’t to do it your self by assuming stating facts is the same as supporting Trump.

  • mlc449

    Like his GOP enablers any hatred of “big guvmint” mysteriously stops when the discussion is on anything under the direction of the DoD.

  • mlc449

    TRUMP: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.

    This is also another Trump lie.

  • Search

    LoL. Guess you don’t follow the news much. The GOP hates Trump almost as much as the DNC

  • Search

    Yawn just another chance for the butthurt progs to come out and rant at another Trump statement as has become the norm. As if our myriad democrat politicians were always 100% correct on spaceflight, and continuing to be unable to grasp that there is no correlation between D and R politicians wrt space – its all about their districts (e.g. Nelson and Shelby)

  • Douglas Messier

    It appears that I was right and you were wrong concerning what Trump was referring to. He again referred to Mars today and made it clear he was talking about human missions.

    Keep in mind, Trump just got a full briefing on the progress of the National Space Council from the vice president.

  • Tom Billings

    “… even I think he was joking.”

    With cheerleaders this is often the case. Given the immediate audience he was standing in front of I am not surprised he moved into cheerleader mode, and as usual, overdid it a bit. It’s still a good cheer.

  • Tom Billings

    “But I still don’t understand how they will be able to pull off the make fuel on Mars thing,…”

    Parts of this have already been demoed here on Earth, industrially. Stand up a drill rig on top of one of the buried 100m thick ice layers, such as those recently exposed by slumping cliffs in Mars’ Southern Hemisphere. Drill down to the ice layer. Send dry-hot steam down the hole in a smaller insulated tube to melt the ice and push the liquid water back up out of the hole to a collecting tank. This has been done since the early 20th Century with the sulfur deposits in Texas.

    Then compress the atmosphere to liquify the CO2 and drain off the still gaseous Argon and Nitrogen. Electrolyze the CO2 to O2 and CO. Use the CO and water to make methane or methanol (for ground use?) as you please. Liquify the Methane. Liquify the O2. Store both till the next ship comes by and needs to leave. MIx a small portion of the O2 with the Nitrogen for breathing atmosphere. Store the Argon for sale to ion engine propelled craft that will follow later.

  • Agreed on a percent basis. On a total amount, because we have the biggest GDP then, technically, we probably pay more total than any single nation. The EU is not a single nation.

  • So, is this the real news? Are they looking at doing an early Mars flyby mission in addition to the SLS-Orion-DSG-someone’s lander return to the Moon?

  • Michael Halpern

    Hillary wouldn’t have stopped Musk, and Trump has no effect on him

  • Michael Halpern

    My guess waiting for BFR

  • Michael Halpern

    The know how for turning almost any combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen into almost any other combination of said elements has been understood for a VERY long time

  • JS Initials

    A Space Force? What will their uniforms look like? What weapons will they have?

  • ajp

    I don’t think you caught my sarcasm…

  • Vladislaw

    read your first three words again …

    I ignored it.

  • ajp

    I must be missing something. The intent of my original post was to:

    1) Poke fun at the way Trump speaks.
    2) Use his own words against him – since Doug so adeptly used actual facts to pick apart this ridiculous speech.

    I’m picking up a hostile vibe from you and honestly I’m not sure why?

  • Robert G. Oler

    It is becoming hard to take anything Trump says as well “real”

  • Paul451
  • Vladislaw

    My apologies I answered through discus and didn’t actually see the thread … I was in some other heated conversations ..

    again .. my apologies.. I will open the page rather than taking the shortcut ..

  • Allen Taylor

    Sounds straightforward, Tom. Let’s do it. By the way, how does the first BFS crew get back home. It’ll take a while to set up that fuel plant and generate enough fuel to lift off.

  • Vladislaw

    Collect more ..

  • Vladislaw

    I know .. and trump didn’t invent anything either ..

  • Vladislaw

    Uniforms? That isn’t what is important .. It’s the helmets .. I want the egyptian look ..

  • Vladislaw

    well gosh .. lets go back to 2016 and see what the candidates actually said

    “6. NASA currently plans to send astronauts to an asteroid in the mid-2020s and to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. Do you support those plans? Why or why not?


    After taking office, we will have a comprehensive review of our plans for space, and will work with Congress to set both priorities and mission.


    Today, thanks to decades of successful American robotic explorers, we know more about the universe than ever before. We have learned that asteroids have shaped life on our home planet and will likely affect our future. Their scientific value and their potential as a resource make them valuable targets for further exploration. Many of the technologies we need to send astronauts to an asteroid can also serve as foundational technologies that will be necessary to make human exploration of Mars possible.

    While President Kennedy set NASA on a course to win the race against Russia to get to the moon, today, human spaceflight is a global endeavor, with astronauts and cosmonauts living and working together on the International Space Station — a remarkable facility developed with 15 international partners. America should continue to push the boundaries of space and lead a global effort of exploration.

    I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of human space flight. My administration will continue to invest in this worthwhile endeavor. Mars is a consensus horizon goal, though to send humans safely, we still need to advance the technologies required to mitigate the effects of long-duration, deep-space flight.”

  • Tom Billings

    Possibly there will be no crew on that flight. What SpaceX has done in ISRU is, beyond a few vague statements from Elon, rather closely held, ….as in opaque! The level of AI needed for that may be what got Musk interested in AI in general. It would be nice to know their timeline.

    Maybe the crew just doesn’t leave, and packs a 26-months long food bag.

    We are waiting as fast as we can!

  • ajp

    No biggie 🙂

  • publiusr

    Trump and SLS

    Loud, expensive, orange–and everyone hates them….