Space Force could be ready for liftoff as early as 2020.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday explained the Trump administration's plan to create a sixth branch of the military, dedicated to establishing dominance in space, The Washington Post reports.
In June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to establish a Space Force, calling it "so important," and explaining that it would take over space-related duties from the Air Force in a "separate but equal" way. He said the new branch would do more than just "plant our flag and leave our footprints" in space, also working on space traffic management and a mission to Mars.
Pence laid out the plan in slightly more detail, describing the Space Force as a way to "meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield" with dedicated space technology experts and defense systems.
Space Force is extremely popular among Trump rally-goers, but less so among military officials. The Post reports that the White House wants to get the new department off the ground by 2020, but it will likely face opposition from Congress. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last year said he opposed "the creation of a new military service," but now vaguely says he is in "alignment with the president's concern about protecting our assets in space." Other experts have called it a "dumb idea."
"America will always seek peace, in space as on Earth," Pence said. "But history proves that peace only comes through strength. And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength." Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza