- The astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses why he wanted a Space Force for decades.
- He doesn't think just because Trump proposed it that the Space Force is "a crazy idea".
- Tyson sees important non-military functions for the branch.
Showing a willingness to put his love and respect for space above politics, Neil deGrasse Tyson came out in support of the Space Force. This sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces was announced in July 2018 by President Trump. The goal is to create it by 2020.
On an episode of “The Takeout” where he was interviewed by the CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garret, Neil deGrasse Tyson said he actually recommended a Space Force all the way back in 2001. That’s when he was serving on a committee to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Tyson thinks it makes sense to separate out the Space Force from the Air Force because activities in space are entirely different “regimes of military interest” and deserve their own organization. “One involves flying in a vacuum,” he pointed out.
“So it’s not a crazy idea,” Tyson expounded. “A lot of Trump haters want to hate everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth. I’m an academic; I analyze everything. And just because it came out of Trump’s mouth doesn’t automatically mean it’s a crazy idea.”
Besides its military functions, Tyson would like to see the Space Force protect us from rogue asteroids, saying “I call that defense.” He added that it will “protect us from going extinct”.
Another possible function of the Space Force – dealing with space debris, (preventing the Kessler Syndrome from becoming reality).
In a nod to the fact that supporting anything Trump-created might not be fashionable among a big part of the country, Tyson said that as an academic, his duty is to “analyze everything.” And from that standpoint, the Space Force is “not a crazy idea”.
Indeed, Trump is very serious about the Space Force. He is reportedly mulling over whether he should fire the Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. She has expressed opposition to the Space Force and he been seen as “trying to undermine this part of the president’s agenda from within,” as reported Foreign Policy. That may be partially due to the perception that establishing the Space Force signifies that the Air Force’s current handling of military space is not effective.
Maybe Trump should invite Neil deGrasse Tyson as an advisor to the Space Force. This might relieve the opposition of those who see such an enterprise as a political plot of little other consequence.
Check out Tyson talking about this here: