Vice-President Mike Pence announced plans Thursday for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as a 6th military service by 2020 to ensure America's dominance in space amid heightened completion and threats from China and Russian Federation.
The U.S. military now consists of five branches - the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard - and a new one hasn't been created since the Air Force got off the ground in 1947.
Mr Trump "knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity and is a vital domain for national defence" while, under his direction, the U.S. is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said.
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images Pence greets audience members after announcing the Trump Administration's plan to create the U.S. Space Force.
Earlier this week, Mattis signaled his support for a new Space Command to take place alongside existing commands, but demurred when asked about the creation of a separate service entirely, saying it was a matter for Congress to decide. As NPR noted at the time, " a new branch of the military can only be established by an act of Congress - something that hasn't happened since the Air Force was split from the Army in 1947. The Trump administration believes the Space Force will allow it to accomplish that goal, and the nation now has at least the beginnings of a plan to bring its fifth military branch to fruition.
The creation of the Space Development Agency. Space is vital to the way the United States wages war; The Pentagon's satellites are used for missile-defence warnings, guiding precision munitions, and providing communications and reconnaissance.
But if you have visions of joining the military - now or under a future Space Force - and strapping on a jet pack, NPR's Geoff Brumfiel is here to crush your dreams.
NASA reveals crews for first flights of commercial spaceships
I'll be ready, I can't wait", Williams said in an interview posted Friday on the International Space Station Facebook page. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner will be launched from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The proposal taps into the American public's long fascination with space but with a military focus, and it faces daunting hurdles. Most of the satellites are operated by the Air Force, which is likely to see a decrease in responsibilities after the proposed reorganization.
Ultimately, Congress must establish the new department, the vice president said. It's not clear whether that independent operation will continue and, if so, how these activities will be coordinated with those of the space force.
Russian and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States' assets in space.
"In the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead". "The Space Force will grow the world's most capable national security space workforce". "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".
Last year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a memo to Sen.
The force would require congressional approval.
"The Space Force will not be built from scratch", Pence said during his speech.