Donald Trump’s idea of creating a new branch of the armed services called “Space Force” to combat threats from deep space may have drawn some laughs, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz thinks it will be a deadly serious reaction to a futuristic threat — space pirates.
Cruz spoke out in favor of Space Force on Wednesday, saying that there are deep space threats yet to be identified. That includes pirates that could target spacecraft.
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors,” said Cruz, via Yahoo News.
“Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
It was not clear exactly what form these space pirates could take, but some on social media imagined Millennium Falcon from Star Wars and other ideas straight out of science fiction. Others mocked Cruz for seemingly creating a threat to justify defending Donald Trump’s idea.
Trump has asked for $2 billion in new funding to create Space Force, which would be made up of roughly 15,000 employees and could spend roughly $10.5 billion each year — money that is mostly already being spent on various federal space programs.
Though Democrats and even some Republicans have tempered the idea of a Space Force, it appears that plans are moving forward, at least in small steps. The Air Force has already identified potential bases that could serve as the headquarters for the United States Space Command, with surveys and analysis being conducted on the potential locations, WHNT reported.
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CNN obtained a memo outlining the Space Force proposal, describing it as a consolidation of mostly existing aspects that currently reside in other branches of the armed forces.
“Placing United States Space Command on a Department of Defense space installation will align the command with critical space force expertise and provide resident military, civilian, and commercial space manpower for United States Space Command recruiting and retention,” a document attached to the memo said.
It was not immediately clear when the Space Force could be completed, but there does not appear to be much rush to address any threats. There have been no known reports of space pirates, at least not outside of science fiction.