President Donald Trump has signed a Space Policy Directive (SPD-4) directing to establish a Space Force as the sixth wing of the American military.

Other wings of the U.S military are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.

Trump first floated the idea of a Space Force in March 2018 and signed an executive order in June ordering the groundwork for its creation.

Now Congress has to take a call on agreeing to the creation of the new military wing that is seeking to guard against space invaders. However, there is no clarity on how much the Space Force will cost.

According to Trump and other White House officials, the goal behind the Space Force is to “secure and extend American dominance of the space domain.”

An important step for national security

Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas, the Republican on the House armed services committee lauded Trump’s approach and called it “an important step toward real reform of national security space.”

In 2017, Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Jim Cooper proposed a separate Space Corps arguing that many of the U.S satellites in are vulnerable to attack.

Initially, the Space Force would operate under the Department of Air Force.  However, Trump officials said eventually the Space Force would spin off as a stand-alone organization.

“If enacted, it will be our responsibility to deter and defeat threats in space through the U.S. Space Force, which will organize, train, and equip military space forces,” the Air Force officials said.

In the new directive, the President calls for creating a new position, known as Space Force Under-secretary who will report to the secretary of the Air Force.

If Space Force stays within the Air Force, overseeing crucial military satellite missions will be one of its responsibilities.

Trump’s differences with the defense secretary

When Trump ordered the Pentagon in June 2018 to start the groundwork for a space force,  then defense secretary Jim Mattis was lukewarm to the idea for a separate service for space.

The current defense secretary Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, has been the main force behind the planning for a separate space force.

“It’s going to be small, as small as possible,” Shanahan said.

However, an expert commented that there are better ways to protect satellites. Laura Grego, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists said military means would not help in securing space security.

Grego called for coordination and cooperation with all space-faring nations. It needs more diplomacy.

The funding format of the Space Force is expected to be unveiled in the President’s budget proposals slated for mid-March.