In a meeting of the National Space Council yesterday (June 18), President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to get cracking on building a sixth branch of the U.S. military called the Space Force.
This ambitious project, which Trump has been teasing for several months now, would result in the first new branch being added to the U.S. military since the Air Force was created in 1947. But what exactly will this Space Force do? Who will pay for it, when will it launch and — most important — will it involve lightsabers?
None of that is really clear yet. Since first bringing up the idea for a Space Force in March, Trump hasn’t provided many concrete details about the project, save for some philosophical talk about recognizing space as “a war-fighting domain” and assuring “American dominance” there.
While this sort of language might conjure up images of interstellar laser battles or armadas of hovering battleships, the reality of American space security is far less scintillating. According to Laura Grego, a senior scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, space security mainly involves keeping other countries away from American satellites.
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