The entrepreneur, who also founded Tesla, plunged into his business plans for next year in an interview on the Recode Decode podcast. While talking to Tesla and SpaceX, Musk expressed his admiration for Trump’s provisional Space Force.
“Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool,” Musk said.
“You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing, and like, “Oh, how silly to have an Air Force!” You know, because the aircraft in World War II were managed by the Army. And so you had the Army and the Navy and the Coast Guard and the Marines, and then … it became pretty obvious that you really needed a specialized division to manage aircraft. And so the Air Force was created,” he said.
“And people today may not realize back then it was wildly panned as a ridiculous thing to create the Air Force, but now everyone’s like, ‘Obviously you should have an Air Force.’ And I think it’s gonna become obvious that we should have a Space Force, too,” he added.
When asked about exactly what for, Musk said bluntly, “You know, it’s basically defense in space,” quickly adding that “I think also it could be pretty helpful for maybe expanding our civilization … You know, expanding things beyond Earth.”
Trump’s proposal of an army in space brought widespread ridicule when he suggested earlier this year.
“And we’re actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force,” Trump said. “You probably haven’t even heard that,” he added. “I’m just telling you now. We’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force.”
For Musk, the idea seems to go well with his futuristic vision of space humanity – and that of a particular Martian base.
“You know, the Space Force could be something that … Like, I think we could just have a base on the moon, for example. A base on Mars. Be great to expand on the idea of a Space Force,” he added. “I think the idea of being out there among the stars and among the planets is very exciting.”
As an intriguing prospect, Musk and Trump would have to circumvent Article IV of the Space Treaty, signed first by the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union in 1967. It prevents weapons and military bases from being built on the Moon and other celestial bodies.