The House is at odds with President Donald Trump’s plans to create a separate branch of the military focused on space, and instead wants to maintain current plans to create a space branch that’s under the Air Force.
The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act directs the Department of Defense to create a new U.S. Space Command, but the House is undecided on whether the military needs a separate Space Corps.
“Last year, out of a lot of frustration and a commitment to do better in space, we set up a separate Space Corps,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) said on June 13 on Capitol Hill, according to Space News.
“That is not the way it came out in conference, and we have given the Air Force an opportunity to show a greater commitment in space.”
Trump discussed the idea of creating a new Space Force during a March 13.speech at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. He said, “My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea. We may even have a Space Force.”
Richard Fisher, senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that an independent military branch focused on space could help defend against near-future threats.
“China wants to control the Earth-Moon system. By doing so, it can impose a toll on the space economy ambitions of the West,” Fisher said.
“It is actually quite fortunate that President Trump has emerged at this time with this broad understanding and a desire to position the United States and the democracies strategically so that China and Russia do not deny the future benefits of space to our people,” he said.