Congressional panel puts plans for a US Space Corps in 2018 defense budget

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Don’t get your hopes up too high about becoming a space marine quite yet. But if the House of Representatives’ version of the 2018 defense budget goes through, you may soon be able to enlist in the US Space Corps.

Back in January of 2001, days before the inauguration of President George W. Bush, a commission headed by future Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned of a “space Pearl Harbor” and urged a reorganization of the military to put a greater emphasis on warfare in the space domain—defending US communications and intelligence satellites, and if necessary taking out the satellites of adversaries. In their report, the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organizations told Congress, “The US is more dependent on space than any other nation… Yet the threat to the US and its allies in and from space does not command the attention it merits.”

A few things happened that derailed efforts to change that perceived neglect. But now the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has breathed new life into those old plans by including a provision in the House version of the 2018 US defense budget that would create a separate military service dedicated to the cause of space as a warfare domain: the US Space Corps. It would also create a separate joint command, the US Space Command, breaking the role out of the US Strategic Command much in the way that was done with the US Cyber Command.

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