Retired astronaut Scott Kelly on Thursday ripped President Donald Trump's plan for a space force, saying the administration should be fighting Russian cyberattacks on elections systems rather than "science-fiction warfare of the future".
The Space Force would be responsible for a range of crucial space-based US military capabilities, which include everything from satellites enabling the Global Positioning System (GPS) to sensors that help track missile launches.
"There will be no Millennium Falcon, no Jedis or Wookiees we are sad to report", Smith said.
Pence portrayed the change as a response to foes' potential aggression rather than any offensive US military effort.
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Fox News host Shepard Smith is sad to report that Donald Trump's proposed Space Force will not include anything from the Star Wars franchise.
The new branch will be separate from, but equal to, the five other branches, he said.
He laid out what the USA perceived as threats from Moscow and Beijing in particular, who are developing new weapons for use in space as well as improving their ability to counter existing systems, such as GPS.
"Creating a new branch of the military is not a simple process", Pence noted.
Speaking to an audience at the Pentagon, as he set out more details about the proposal, vice-president Mike Pence said: "The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces".
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The report to be released today represents a critical step toward establishing the Space Force, he said. In June, Trump called for the new branch to be created, despite resistance from the Air Force, which now oversees military space programs.
Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.
"Our nation's armed forces have always been the vanguard of advancing American leadership here on Earth and beyond", Pence said. "We have a Navy to protect shipping lanes", she said.
Joan Johnson-Freese, a space security expert at the Naval War College, told Brumfiel that she doesn't think a Space Force is now necessary.
But Mr Pence was carrying the Trump message loud and clear today, describing space as "crowded and adversarial". Namely, the Outer Space Treaty, to which the U.S. has been party since 1967, bans states from testing any weapons in outer space, or establishing military bases on the Moon and other celestial bodies. Both nations are reportedly developing "hypersonic missiles", which US missile defense radars may not be able to detect.
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