Mayflower Writer Team | Reporter: Amy Q | Editor & Publish: jamie
On January 20, 2021 at 8:48 a.m. EST, President Donald Trump gave a final farewell speech at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland before boarding Air Force One to Florida:
“What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard. We rebuilt the United States Military. We created a new force called ‘Space Force,’ that itself would be a major achievement for a regular administration, we were not a regular administration.” —— President Trump
Once again, President Trump mentioned “Space Force” in this his speech. What is “Space Force” exactly? What makes it worthy to be brought up by President Trump in this significant occasion? In its own introduction on/according to the introduction on the United States Space Force website, the U.S. Space Force (USSF) is a new branch of the Armed Forces established on December 20, 2019 with enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be stood-up over the next 18 months.
President Trump values Space Force very much. According to Merrit Kennedy’s report on National Public Radio, President Trump signed a $738 billion defense spending bill to create the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Services – USSF. What’s more, $2 billion is ready to be used during the next five years, about 16,000 Air Force active duty and civilian personnel are being assigned to the Space Force.
“Space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain,” President Trump said during the signing ceremony. ” Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough. But very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”
The mission of the USSF’s is to organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. To be more specific, as the Fox News said on February 25, 2020: “The new military brand will focus on protecting the more than 900 U.S. satellites needed to communicate, 31 of which provide Americans and the military with GPS coordinates.”
This concern is not groundless, “Recent anti-satellite missile tests by China and India have created fear in the Pentagon, that the U.S. could go blind in a future conflict.” You can never be too careful. After all, Elon Musk’s SpaceX planned to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites. And based on the filings Federal Communication Commission (FCC) submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on October 15, 2019, SpaceX added 30,000 more Starlink satellites to the project.
Why SpaceX wanted to launch so many satellites? What are these satellites for? To answer that question, we need to start from Starlink. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation constructed by SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services. In January 2015, SpaceX publicly announced its vison for satellite network for the first time. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX wants Starlink to be able to offer internet access from virtually anywhere on the planet with the help of satellites. To make that happen, thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) would be needed.
On February 22, 2018, SpaceX successfully launched two prototype test-flight satellites. In 2019, SpaceX launched twice, and each time the company launched 60 satellites. Eighteen days after President Trump created Space Force, on January 7, 2020, SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites in the new year. From then on, SpaceX’s satellite launches became regular. During 2020, SpaceX has launched 835 satellites in total, all launches were successful.
Starlink’s goal was to provide cheaper, faster internet that covers broader area, and won’t be limited to traditional fiber optic cables. In October 2019, Elon Musk publicly tested the Starlink network using an internet connection routed through the network to post a tweet to social media site Twitter.
But Starlink can do more than that.
SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes. Doesn’t Starlink seem like the perfect object for Space Force to protect? In fact, according to CNN’s report written by Jackie Wattles in December 2020, SpaceX gets $856 million in federal subsidies to deliver broadband to rural America. There’s more, based on the information of a US Air Force announcement reported by Sky News in August 2020, Elon Musk’s SpaceX won a competitive contract to conduct secret national security launches for the US military.
Satellites connect Starlink and Space Force, there are connections between Musk and Trump as well. At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit held on December 7, 2020, Musk said that he has personally moved to Texas. He also expressed his displeasure with California’s regulatory environment at the summit. Musk is not the only person who doesn’t like these regulations. As CNBC’s journalist Lora Kolodny wrote in her news report: “Like Musk, President Donald Trump promoted the idea of reducing regulation with an executive order he signed in 2017 directing federal agencies to repeal two existing regulations for every new one they put in place.”
As a matter of fact, SpaceX has started operating in Texas since 2003. And except for that two test-flight satellites were launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, all other 1,015 satellites were all launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station or Kennedy Space Center, both are located in Florida.
Yes, Florida. The Mar-a-Lago club, where President Trump and his family were headed to after giving his farewell speech on January 20th morning, is also in Florida. Just a few hours after President Trump left from the ceremony, at 13:02 p.m. SpaceX launched 60 satellites in Kennedy Space Center. Mar-a-Lago is only two hours and thirty minutes’ drive from Kennedy Space Center. If the Air Force One was fast enough, President Trump would still have time to watch the satellites launching.
As President Trump once said: “Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security.” Will Space Force be the way President Trump “see” us when he’s not here? Will Space Force indicate the “some form” of President Trump’s back? Are there any other connections between President Trump and Elon Musk? Let’s wait for it, and the best is yet to come.
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