The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday, including legislation that would require the Air Force to create a new branch of the military called the ‘Space Corps’ by the beginning of 2019. The Space Corps would replace the Air Force’s current space departments and receive more funding as well as its own command.It was a major step for those in favor of creating a sixth military branch, but the Space Corps is still far from reality. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s current markup of the NDAA, a $696 billion measure, does not include the Space Corps, but rather creates a new officer to oversee space defense in the Pentagon, according to a summary of the bill acquired by Space News.The creation of a Space Corps is also opposed by Air Force leadership and Secretary of Defense James Mattis along with the Trump administration. The White House issued a statement about the NDAA this past week that said space defense needed to be addressed, “the creation of a separate Space Corps, however, is premature at this time.”The Senate’s current version of the NDAA seems to agree. Rather than creating an entirely new military branch, the Senate bill would create a new Chief Information Warfare Officer (CIWO) in the Defense Department to oversee “cybersecurity and cyber warfare, space and space launch systems, electronic warfare, and the electromagnetic spectrum.” The Senate bill would also require the head of Air Force Space Command to serve for six years, rather than two or four years.
Space Corps Military Branch Approved by House