Ex-astronaut slams Trump's 'space force' proposal: Let's deal with our current 'cyber war'

Ex-astronaut slams Trump's 'space force' proposal: Let's deal with our current 'cyber war'
© Getty Images

Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE's "Space Force" proposal on Friday, saying the U.S. government should focus its efforts on "the cyber war" facing the country. 

"I don’t want to speculate on the president’s motivations," Kelly said on MSNBC in response to a question on why Trump announced his Space Force plan back in June.

ADVERTISEMENT

"This Space Force is talking about some future, potentially almost scientific war that we may have to be a party of. How about we deal with the war we're currently in?" he added.

"The cyber war that is, you know, trying to affect our democracy, the thing that's most important to the United States, which is free and fair elections," he also said.

Kelly, who is a former commander of International Space Station (ISS), made the comments months after Trump officially directed the Pentagon to create a space force in June. Trump made this announcement despite a lack of support from military leaders. 

Defense One reported this week that the Department of Defense is planning to create a Space Operations Force in the coming months without congressional approval. 

"It's not clear to me what the purpose is of this new branch of the military, which is going to be incredibly expensive," Kelly said. "And my big concern here is that, you know, space has been a place for us to work in a peaceful manner. And, you know, changing that with not any clear reason at this point is, like I said, kind of hard to understand."

Kelly, a retired Navy captain, added that a program like this would "cost a lot of money." 

“We're currently in a war right now,” he added, referring to cyber warfare. “We should worry about that one." 

Trump touted his proposal for a Space Force during a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, adding that the move was "very important." 

Military leaders have called the creation of a separate space force premature and burdensome. But the president's supporters argue that Russia and China have created separate military arms for their space operations