President Donald Trump signs S.1790, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at Joint Base Andrews. The act directed the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
Credit: Airman 1st Class Spencer Slocum, 11th Wing Public Affairs

The Trump administration established the Space Force as a separate military branch in December 2019.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper noted last month, nations have been in space for many, many years. “It’s just been recently that both China and Russia pushed us to the point where it now became a warfighting domain,” he said.

General John Raymond, U.S. Space Force chief of space operations, signs the United States Space Command sign inside of the Perimeter Acquisition Radar building Jan. 10, 2020, on Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota.
Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody Howley

As a result, Esper said, the United States has stood up Space Command and just recently, Space Force, “to make sure that we can preserve space as a global commons, he said. “It’s important not just to our security, but to our commerce, our way of life, our understanding of the planet, weather, you name it. So it’s very important that we — we now treat it that way and make sure that we’re prepared to defend ourselves and preserve space.”

Check out my new story that surveys a variety of experts in space policy about the practicalities, pathways and potential pitfalls ahead for the U.S. Space Force:

Space Force: What will the new military branch actually do? – The future is still a bit fuzzy.

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