Congress Approves the Creation of a National “Space Force”

A+ULA+Atlas+V+rocket+carrying+a%C2%A0U.S.+Air+Force+Space+and+Missile+Systems+Center%C2%A0mission+launched+Thursday+at+Kennedy+Space+Center+in+Florida.
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Congress Approves the Creation of a National “Space Force”

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center mission launched Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center mission launched Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Courtesy United Launch Alliance

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center mission launched Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Courtesy United Launch Alliance

Courtesy United Launch Alliance

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center mission launched Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Nic Rendon, Contributor

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The idea of having a national “space force” is something that seems a long ways away, but now it has the ability to become a reality. In early 2018, Donald Trump tossed around the idea of creating a military division in space, and most people considered it to be a joke. Although this was not meant to be taken seriously, people still actually consider it. Last Thursday, the idea of a new form of military was approved by the House Armed Services Committee.

Trump claims that this Space Force is needed to protect America’s outer space assets from possible threats of Russia and China. These two countries have been a big enough concern for America on land, and now the U.S is taking precautionary measures in space. The Space Force may seem like a recent idea, but it actually has been talked about much in the past.  Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed that space needed to become a priority for security back in 2001. However, the 9/11 terrorist attacks stopped his plans from ever leaving the drawing board. Now military officials are advising that the U.S. government does find a way to protect America’s assets in outer space. If an opposing nation could destroy a satellite, it would affect many American things, such as cell communication, or electricity. For a while, the government has been urged to create a new space defense system so that this does not become an issue.

Democratic Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper was one of the main contributors to the space protection push. He was very excited about his plan, hooping it would really take off. Cooper was upset when  President Donald Trump took his idea and proposed it under the new name of “Space Force.” Cooper claimed that Donald Trump proposed the same idea, but he added his own twists to the original, making it a worse plan. Trump’s plan would have been to expensive and was too hard to work with. Congress made some changes to it to make the proposal more reasonable. Although Cooper was annoyed by Trump at first, he says,”He took our idea and he blew it up, so I’m thankful now and the defense authorization bill we’ve gotten back to the original plan.” Trump allowed the Space Force plan to blow up, giving it a lot more national attention. So, without him, Cooper may not have gone anywhere with his pitch.

After a debate that lasted less than an hour, the House Armed Services Committee agreed to create this new military branch. The aim is to create the Space Force as part of the Air Force because both forces deal with aircraft. This is not a quick project. It will take around five years for the Space Force to really become a thing. The project is being funded by the United States government, who put in  $72.4 million. Although we are not fighting aliens yet, having a military branch in outer space will protect all of America’s property from the threats that opposing nations pose.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/11/743612373/with-congressional-blessing-space-force-is-closer-to-launch

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2019/06/13/space-corps-gets-ok-from-hasc-ndaa-markup/

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