While the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a Christmas gift the to United States, the G.O.P has maintained a firm line in setting up a 6th military branch. On June 18th, Mike Pence has announced the reinstatement of National Space Council and “another step forward to U.S leadership in space.” While the logistics still remain unclear, here are a couple of answers to the concerns that we may have.
How much is being spent on this program?
The biggest concern that comes from many, including the general public, is the amount of funding that will be needed to go into this program. According to Spacenew.com, the initial estimated projection of the department in $12.5 Billion. To put that into perspective, the current budget of the United States D.O.D is nearly $600 Billion. Coming second is the spending on the bureaucracy, which is around $72 Billion. In total, out of the $1.1 Trillion discretionary spending budget that the United States Federal Government has, the space force program will be 13th in terms of size.
What is the programs purpose?
The purpose of the space force, intuintely enough, is a branch of military responsible solely for fighting battles in space. While the idea may sound far fetched, many scientists, astronauts, and diplomats have increased support for the idea of having a space program after China’s recent escalation in cyber hacking. The idea of a space force will enable the United States military to attack enemy satellites of defend their own in times of need.
So…… we have a Space Force now right?
Well…. not really. Because of checks and balances that exist within the government, it is impossible for an executive order from the President to create a new branch of military. Only the Congress can sign such legislation. What Trump has done is merely order the research and logistical sortings to the executive branch bureaucracy and the Pentagon. Only time will tell whether the Congress will see the need of such program.