Senator Ted Cruz wants Congress to approve the formation of a ‘space force’ tasked with protecting ‘the nation’ against space pirates. Naturally, the people of Twitter responded in an appropriately dramatic fashion.
Cruz made the comments during a senate committee hearing on aviation and space on Tuesday. Cruz, chairman of the subcommittee, reasoned that because pirates threaten the open seas, “the same is possible in space.”
“In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration,” Cruz urged.
The Trump administration is currently seeking more than $2 billion to fund Space Force, according to The Hill who cite a report from the Congressional Budget Office. The proposed force purportedly needs up to 7,800 personnel to get it off the ground, adding more than $1 billion to the Pentagon’s annual costs, the report found.
Congress has yet to approve the creation of the new military branch, but allotted $15 million to study the implementation of the Space Force. Even so, Trump has signed off on the setup of a revived US Space Command as part of the Air Force.
Trump admitted last year that he initially coined ‘Space Force’ as a joke in a discussion of government spending and private investment in space. The president decided to take the matter seriously, however, after China landed the first probe on the far side of the moon, and other countries began eyeing up their own chunk of extra-terrestrial space.