US Vice President Mike Pence laid out an ambitious plan on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) that would create a military command dedicated to space this year and eventually establish a "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the US military.
In a speech at the Pentagon, the vice president also announced plans to establish a new combatant command - U.S. Space Command - as well as a Space Operations Force and a new joint organization called the Space Development Agency.
The US Space Force will act as a sixth branch of the US military.
Trump's campaign sent an email Thursday to subscribers. asking them to weigh in on new artwork for the would-be 6th branch of the military. but there's a capitalist twist.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive new service. Twitter says, "Yes, but will Space Force members get to dress like Stormtroopers?"
While the establishment of a new military service would require legislation to be passed by Congress, Pence's strong endorsement could signal new momentum for the creation of the first new branch of the armed forces since the Air Force was established in the 1940s.
Thursday's announcement coincided with a report detailed by the Pentagon on how the newest branch of the USA military is set to work.
"Space Force all the way!". It notes that "presidential leadership and congressional support have set the environment for dramatic improvement of our national space capabilities". But there's still a lot unspecified regarding whether non-defense space activities, such as those pursued by the NSA, will be affected by the changes.
The email came hours after Mr Pence gave a speech at the Pentagon, where he argued that the United States must invest in creating a new force in order to counter Russian and Chinese operations. "And is that thrashing going to slow your momentum or is it going to help you achieve your goals and address the real challenges that we have on our plate?" she said at Brookings Institution last week.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command already handles the country's security and surveillance in space.
The US Armed Forces are made up of the five armed service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. The Pentagon and intelligence community has a host of sensitive satellites that perform all sorts of vital national security tasks, such as missile warning, precision-guided munitions, military communications and intelligence. In 2007, China fired a missile to destroy an aged weather satellite, demonstrating in a dramatic fashion its ability to deploy anti-satellite weapons.