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A question of national security – for the US administration, space exploration goes beyond science.Vice President Mike Pence says the plan is to create a sixth branch of the US military to tackle outer space threats.SOUNDBITE 1 – Mike Pence, US vice president (man, English, 21 sec):”Establishing the Space Force is an idea whose time has come. The space environment has fundamentally changed in the last generation/// Today, other nations are seeking to disrupt our space-based systems and challenge American supremacy in space as never before.”The other nations cited are … Russia and China. Washington believes both countries are pursuing anti-satellite weaponry.The US relies on satellite technology to provide communications and intelligence services vital for its military and economyCyberattacks on these satellites could potentially leave American troops stranded in war zones.The solution for Trump is the so-called Space Force.The American President tweeted his full support on Thursday.TRUMP SPACE FORCE ALL THE WAYWhile former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was one of many to criticise the planBernie Sanders”We should make sure our people are not dying because they lack health insurance before we start spending billions to militarize outer space.”The US military”s current space power is controlled by the Air Force.The new proposal would gather space related resources under one new command – responsible for everything from satellite safety to helping track missile launches.
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