Sen. Bill Nelson is among the lawmakers opposed to the idea. The Department will build a legislative proposal for congressional consideration as a part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget cycle.
"This report is a step in a multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America", they said. The Space Force would initially be led by a civilian who would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, Pence said.
Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly says President TrumpDonald John TrumpOhio county finds hundreds of uncounted votes in already too-close-to-call special election Nunes suggested at private fundraiser that GOP majority is needed to protect Trump Ex-Bush spokesman: Trump shouldn't talk in his "loopy ways" to Mueller MORE's plan for a military branch with jurisdiction over outer space is "redundant" and "wasteful".
"We have the direction from the president, and we're underway", Mattis said Tuesday.
Since then, the White House has continued to press forward for a Space Force, giving the issue momentum and the weight of the executive branch. The Air Force now oversees some of the most critical space-based capabilities.
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He also said Russian Federation and China were developing weapons, such as hypersonic missiles, to launch attacks from space here on Earth. In a letter to Congress a year ago, Secretary James Mattis said he opposed the idea of a separate force, arguing that it would "likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations" and said that a "properly integrated approach is better for carrying out this mission".
Critics argue that Trump's Space Force would be stepping on the toes of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, which now oversees the nation's military operations in space. "This report reviews the national security space activities within the Department of Defense, and it identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new department of the Space Force".
"China and Russian Federation have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems", he said.
Just as advances in aviation technology drove the emergence of air as a new battlefield in the 20th century, advances in space technology have made it clear that space is the new battlefield for the 21st century, the vice president said. 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. "So now, we have to adjust and make sure that we can defend what we do in space and deter anyone from challenging us there".
Pence pointed to Russia's development of airborne lasers to disrupt space-based systems and China's successful demonstration of how a missile can track and destroy satellites.