In a gathering of the Nationwide House Council yesterday (June 18), President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to get cracking on constructing a sixth department of the U.S. army referred to as the House Drive.

This bold mission, which Trump has been teasing for a number of months now, would consequence within the first new department being added to the U.S. army for the reason that Air Drive was created in 1947. However what precisely will this House Drive do? Who can pay for it, when will it launch and — most essential — will it contain lightsabers?

None of that’s actually clear but. Since first mentioning the thought for a House Drive in March, Trump hasn't offered many concrete particulars in regards to the mission, save for some philosophical discuss recognizing house as "a war-fighting area" and assuring "American dominance" there.

Whereas this kind of language would possibly conjure up photographs of interstellar laser battles or armadas of hovering battleships, the truth of American house safety is much much less scintillating. In line with Laura Grego, a senior scientist within the World Safety Program on the Union of Involved Scientists, house safety primarily includes conserving different nations away from American satellites. [22 Weirdest Military Weapons]

"The U.S. army is strongly underpinned by a really succesful satellite tv for pc fleet," Grego informed Micronis. "And the U.S. is in the midst of attempting to determine what its technique must be to maintain its satellites secure. I see this push to have a House Drive as only one different characteristic of doing this."

Since 1984, the U.S. Air Drive has put greater than 280 satellites into orbit. (The newest one — a missile-detection satellite tv for pc named USA-282 — was launched in January.) These satellites do every little thing from predicting the climate, to monitoring ballistic-missile launches, to serving to troopers name their households, Grego mentioned. They’re essential for surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation and communication — and each department of the army depends on them.

Definitely, stopping international nations from interfering with these satellites — say, by jamming their sensors or hacking into their networks and stealing data — is a paramount nationwide safety concern, Grego mentioned. A House Drive, presumably, would take cost of defending and sustaining America's house capabilities.

The difficulty is, the U.S. army already has an company that does this.

"The Air Drive does most of this," Grego mentioned.

In 1982, the Air Drive shaped a brand new company referred to as The Air Drive House Command (AFSPC). In line with the AFSPC's web site, the command's mission is "to supply resilient and inexpensive house and our on-line world capabilities for the Joint Drive and the Nation."

This portfolio consists of commanding and controlling authorities satellites, serving to NASA and personal firms conduct rocket launches, monitoring house junk that might intervene with American house missions and customarily "sustaining house superiority."

In the present day, the company employs greater than 35,000 folks.

So, why separate house safety from the Air Drive after greater than 30 years? To Grego, the reasoning shouldn’t be clear. If created, the House Drive runs the danger of including one other layer of  paperwork to an already sophisticated system, she mentioned.

"House and house entry proper now are actually half and parcel of the opposite issues that the army does," Grego mentioned. "House Drive holds them separate the place they may be higher built-in."

The Pentagon tends to agree.

"The Pentagon is sophisticated sufficient," Air Drive Secretary Heather Wilson informed reporters final June, after dismissing an armed companies invoice that proposed the creation of a brand new space-based army department. "This may make it extra complicated, add extra bins to the group chart and price extra money. If I had extra money, I’d put it into lethality, not paperwork."

Initially printed on Micronis.