PRESIDENT Donald Trump has launched a new Pentagon command focused on warfare in space.

The move on Thursday means he has picked a fight with an enemy he probably did not know existed – the Space Kingdom of Asgardia.

Trump’s SpaceCom – or Space Command – is designed to combat what the US administration sees as a growing threat to its extraterrestrial national interests from China and Russia.

Trump has put a four-star air force general in charge. General John Raymond will spearhead efforts to maintain US dominance across space, with Trump declaring the final frontier vital to the defence of America.

The president said at the White House launch: “Space Command will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened.”

To the people of Space Kingdom Asgardia, this throwback to the Cold War is an anathema.

They told The National: “It marks an escalation of global superpowers moving to increase their influence on space as space exploration and colonisation edges closer to reality.

“While global powers on Earth may view this as a necessary step in the battle for supremacy in space, for those that see space as an opportunity to live away from the damaging influence of geopolitics this is hugely concerning.”

Asgardia is a serious attempt to make human habitation in space a reality. Formed officially as a new nation in 2016 and named after the home of Norse god Odin, Asgardia has already sent three satellites into space.

In a statement issued yesterday, the space kingdom said: “Asgardia cannot condone this move, which they judge to undermine the neutrality of space. Humankind has made tremendous advancements through the global co-operation of the International Space Station and it is surely in this spirit that space exploration, colonisation should surely continue.

Lena De Winne, minister of communications for space nation Asgardia, said: “At Asgardia we hugely oppose this continued rhetoric that nations on Earth need to have a dominant military presence in space.

“Whilst we totally agree that people need protection on Earth and in space, this protection should be universal.

She added: “The expansionist rhetoric of Trump is a continuation of this worrying trend of world powers seeking to look after their own self-interests by laying claim to space whilst showing no regard for their fellow human beings.

“One of the key missions of Asgardia is to provide a home in space for humans, to safeguard the human race in a peaceful environment – far away from the weapons on Earth that have the potential to destroy our species.

“This announcement from President Trump undermines all notions of space being a peaceful environment. Instead, it transitions the battleground of the global superpowers from Earth to space.”