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Neil deGrasse Tyson says Trump's Space Force could be a 'fatal mistake' if done wrong

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<p content="President Trump raised eyebrows earlier this year when he announced plans to create a “Space Force,” which would become the sixth branch of the military.” data-reactid=”15″ type=”text”>President Trump raised eyebrows earlier this year when he announced plans to create a “Space Force,” which would become the sixth branch of the military.

<p content="Vice President Mike Pence later announced in a speech that the branch was needed in order for the US to maintain military dominance in space. The proposed Space Force is estimated to cost $13 billion in its first five years.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>Vice President Mike Pence later announced in a speech that the branch was needed in order for the US to maintain military dominance in space. The proposed Space Force is estimated to cost $13 billion in its first five years.

<p content="And despite some snickers among political observers, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t think the Space Force is that crazy of an idea. But Tyson, one of the authors of “Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military,” has a note of caution.” data-reactid=”17″ type=”text”>And despite some snickers among political observers, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t think the Space Force is that crazy of an idea. But Tyson, one of the authors of “Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military,” has a note of caution.

“Just because it came out of Trump’s mouth doesn’t mean it’s crazy,” he said this week on Midday Movers (video above). “But, if while doing this, you do not continue to invest in innovations in science and technology, you are making a fatal mistake that will compromise the future health, wealth and security of the nation.”

What Tyson means is that a lack of investment in other forms of space innovation could mean the US would “begin to fade.”

“And we’ll continue — it’s not a cliff edge,” he said. “It’s a fade. One day, you wake up and say, ‘No one is asking us to have a seat at the table. Japan, China, and Russia are mounting this mission to Mars, and they didn’t even invite us.’”

<p content="While detailing the administration’s plans for the Space Force, Pence cited threats by Russia and China as reasons why the new military branch is necessary.” data-reactid=”41″ type=”text”>While detailing the administration’s plans for the Space Force, Pence cited threats by Russia and China as reasons why the new military branch is necessary.

<p content="While detailing the administration’s plans for the Space Force, Pence cited threats by Russia and China as reasons why the new military branch is necessary.” data-reactid=”41″ type=”text”>RELATED: Space launches over the years 

27 PHOTOS

SpaceX technology and launches throughout history

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on a supply mission to the International Space Station from historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on a supply mission to the International Space Station from historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Brown

SOLVANG, CA – DECEMBER 22: The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up the early evening sky on December 22, 2017, as viewed from Solvang, California. The spectacular event, seen by millions of people throughout parts of Arizona and Central and Southern California, was the result of setting sun light hitting the contrail left behind as ten communication satellites were placed into orbit by the private space company. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

SOLVANG, CA – DECEMBER 22: The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up the early evening sky on December 22, 2017, as viewed from Solvang, California. The spectacular event, seen by millions of people throughout parts of Arizona and Central and Southern California, was the result of setting sun light hitting the contrail left behind as ten communication satellites were placed into orbit by the private space company. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

SOLVANG, CA – DECEMBER 22: The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up the early evening sky on December 22, 2017, as viewed from Solvang, California. The spectacular event, seen by millions of people throughout parts of Arizona and Central and Southern California, was the result of setting sun light hitting the contrail left behind as ten communication satellites were placed into orbit by the private space company. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks in below a computer generated illustration of his new rocket at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide on September 29, 2017.
Musk said his company SpaceX has begun serious work on the BFR Rocket as he plans an Interplanetary Transport System. / AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket prepares to launch from the Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California on December 22, 2017.
SpaceX blasted off a re-used Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 satellites into orbit, its fourth launch toward a $3 billion upgrade to Virginia-based Iridium’s mobile, voice and data network. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (in lower center, in a horizontal position), is readied for launch on a supply mission to the International Space Station on historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 17, 2017. Launch is scheduled for February 18. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, in a horizontal position, is readied for launch on a supply mission to the International Space Station on historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 17, 2017. The launch is scheduled for February 18. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Ellon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX sits in a pod displayed in a booth during the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

Team members from WARR Hyderloop, Technical University of Munich place their pod on the track during the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

The recovered first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is transported to the SpaceX hangar at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 14, 2016. The vehicle was launched on May 6 and returned to land a short time later aboard a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Recovered first stages of three SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are shown during a photo opportunity in the SpaceX hangar at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 14, 2016. The stages are in the process of refurbishing for launching again. REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule approaches the International Space Station prior to installation in this NASA picture taken April 10, 2016. REUTERS/NASA via social media/Handout via Reuters THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks after unveiling the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014. Space Exploration Technologies announced April 27, 2016, it will send uncrewed Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, a first step in company founder Elon Musk’s goal to fly people to another planet. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket returns to land in a time exposure at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on the launcher’s first mission since a June failure, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, December 21, 2015. The rocket carried a payload of eleven satellites owned by Orbcomm, a New Jersey-based communications company. REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The unmanned SpaceX Crew Dragon lands after lifting off from launch pad 40 during a Pad Abort Test at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Audette

The unmanned SpaceX Crew Dragon lifts off from launch pad 40 during a Pad Abort Test at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Audette

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, launched by SpaceX and carrying NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite, lifts off from launch pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida February 11, 2015. The rocket blasted off on Wednesday to put the U.S. satellite into deep space, where it will keep tabs on solar storms and image Earth from nearly 1 million miles (1.6 million km) away. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT ENVIRONMENT)

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX on a cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, January 10, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT)

SpaceX workers examine the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket carrying NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite as it lays horizontally on launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida February 9, 2015. Launch of the SpaceX rocket with a U.S. weather satellite bound for deep space was called off minutes before liftoff on Sunday due to a technical problem, officials said. Launch had been targeted for 6:10 p.m. EST (2310 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. But about 2.5 minutes before liftoff, a problem cropped up with an Air Force radar system needed to track the rocket in flight. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk poses by the Dragon V2 spacecraft after it was unveiled in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014. Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, on Thursday unveiled an upgraded passenger version of the Dragon cargo ship NASA buys for resupply runs to the International Space Station. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen at the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in this NASA handout picture released January 9, 2015. SpaceX plans to launch the rocket on Saturday, then attempt to land the discarded booster on a platform in the ocean, according to officials. REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES)

A SpaceX upgraded Falcon 9 rocket undergoes launch preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California September 27, 2013. Privately owned Space Exploration Technologies plans to test an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday from a site in California as part of its push into the satellite launch market. Perched on top of the 22-story, beefed-up Falcon 9 will be Canada?s Cassiope science satellite. Liftoff is targeted for 9 a.m. PDT (1600 GMT).
?This is essentially a development flight for the rocket,? company founder and chief executive Elon Musk told Reuters. REUTERS/Gene Blevins (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS)

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is captured by the crew of the International Space Station using its robotic arm in this screen capture from NASA handout video released March 3, 2013. The ISS successfully captured the capsule at 0531 EST approximately 253 statute miles over the northern Ukraine. REUTERS/NASA/Handout (OUTER SPACE – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (L), and SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk view the historic Dragon capsule that returned to Earth on May 31 following the first successful mission by a private company to carry supplies to the International Space Station at the SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas, June 13, 2012. Bolden and Musk also thanked the more than 150 SpaceX employees working at the McGregor facility for their role in the historic mission. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

This photo provided by NASA shows a “fisheye” view of the inside of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft and was photographed by an Expedition 31 crew member aboard the International Space Station on May 26, 2012. Dragon became the first commercially developed space vehicle to be launched to the station to join Russian, European and Japanese resupply craft that service the complex while restoring a U.S. capability to deliver cargo to the orbital laboratory. REUTERS/NASA/Handout (SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS




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A different state of mind

<p content="Tyson doesn’t think the US has the ability to keep up, at least for now, despite the fact that NASA’s budget for 2018 is roughly $19.1 billion.” data-reactid=”43″ type=”text”>Tyson doesn’t think the US has the ability to keep up, at least for now, despite the fact that NASA’s budget for 2018 is roughly $19.1 billion.

“We don’t have a spaceship that can take anybody into space today,” he said. “We’re hitching a ride on the Russian Soyuz capsule to get our own damn space station.”

And that is how the fade begins, Tyson said, when you wake up and realize that the US is no longer relevant on the world stage.

“It’s a really different state of mind than I had growing up being shaped in 20th century America, where we did what we wanted,” he said. “No one denied the objective truths of science. They used science as advice to make policy, not science as something to combat.

“What’s next?” he asked. “We’re going to say, ‘I gained three pounds last week. I want to repeal the law of gravity?’ You don’t have these options when it comes to scientific results. So my biggest fear is that we will have the collapse of the American civilization simply because people are not heeding the advice of informed scientists.”

<p content="Adriana is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.” data-reactid=”68″ type=”text”>Adriana is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

<p content="Adriana is an editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.” data-reactid=”68″ type=”text”>RELATED: Neil deGrasse Tyson over the years 

24 PHOTOS

Neil deGrasse Tyson through the years

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Neil deGrasse Tyson (Photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – MAY 8: Neil deGrasse Tyson attends TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People 2007 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 28: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson poses for a portrait at The Rose Center for Earth and Space Hayden Planetarium on February 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Myrna Suarez/Getty Images)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels to the Earth of the Carboniferous in the ‘The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth’ episode airing Sunday, May 4, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, May 5, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 12: Neil deGrasse Tyson makes a few remarks at a Celebration Of Carl Sagan at The Library of Congress on November 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 13: Neil DeGrasse Tyson (L) and executive producer Seth MacFarlane speak during the FOX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: More than three decades after Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking and iconic series, ‘Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,’ it’s time once again to set sail for the stars. Host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson sets off on the Ship of the Imagination to discover Earth’s Cosmic Address and its coordinates in space and time in the ‘Standing Up in the Milky Way’ Series Premiere episode of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY airing Sunday, March 9, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels to northern Italy to learn how Albert Einstein developed his famous theories of relativity in the ‘A Sky Full of Ghosts’ episode of airing Sunday, March 30, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, March 31, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 08: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks onstage at the Neil DeGrasse Tyson Keynote during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Mcgehee/Getty Images for SXSW)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Neil deGrasse Tyson in the the ‘A Sky Full of Ghosts’ episode of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY airing Sunday, March 30, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, March 31, 2014 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS — Episode 0015 — Pictured: (l-r) Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth Reiss as Pluto during an interview with host Seth Meyers on March 14, 2014 — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the ideas of death and immortality in the cosmos in the all-new ‘The Immortals’ episode airing Sunday, May 18, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, May 19, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson in the ‘Unafraid of The Dark’ Season Finale episode airing Sunday, June 8, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, June 9, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 04: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan attend the Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey: ‘Unafraid Of The Dark’ Final Episode Screening at The Paley Center for Media on June 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)

PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 07: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author, astrophysicist, lecturer and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, speaks onstage during the National Geographic Channel Special Programming Announcement at the 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 7, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 31: Astrophysicist and host of ‘COSMOS’, Neil deGrasse Tyson poses with award during The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 31: (L-R): Ann Druyan, Peabody Award Recipient, and Neil deGrasse Tyson speak onstage at The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 28: Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaks during the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Richard Branson, chairman and founder of Virgin Group Ltd., right, speaks as Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, listens during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. The annual CGI meetings bring together heads of state, leading CEOs, philanthropists, and members of the media to facilitate discussion and forward-thinking initiatives that challenge the way we impact the future. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 03: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits ‘Sway in the Morning’ with Sway Calloway on Eminem’s Shade 45 at SiriusXM Studios on February 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits at SiriusXM Studio on April 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson attend the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Day 2 at the Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits at SiriusXM Studio on September 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 25: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and educator Bill Nye attend the screening of ‘The Space Between Us’ hosted by STX Entertainment with The Cinema Society at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on January 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)




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