‘Space Force’: Trump directs Pentagon to create new military branch

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President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018, as Vice President Mike Pence looks on. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Vowing to reclaim U.S. leadership in space, President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” as an independent service branch aimed at ensuring American supremacy in space.

Trump envisioned a bright future for the U.S. space program, pledging to revive the country’s flagging efforts, return to the moon and eventually send a manned mission that would reach Mars. The president framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”

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