Trump signs order for US Space Command overseeing US military space operations

Vice President Pence announces details at KSC Tuesday

By Associated Press, Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday at Kennedy Space Center that the president has launched the Pentagon's new Space Command, which will oversee U.S. military space activities in space.

The Space Command is an effort to better organize and advance the military's vast operations in space. It could cost as much as $800 million over the next five years.

President Donald Trump signed the one-page memorandum Tuesday authorizing the Department of Defense to create the new command. The memorandum instructs Secretary of Defense James Mattis to recommend officers for the president to nominate as commander and deputy commander of the new United States Space Command.

Pence said the commander will be a four-star general.

The goal is to set up a command to oversee and organize space operations, accelerate technical advances and find more effective ways to defend U.S. assets in space, including the vast constellations of satellites that American forces rely on for navigation, communications and surveillance, Pence said.

The U.S. Space Command will be the 11th combatant command and does not require Congressional approval, like creating another branch of the military.

The move comes amid growing concerns that China and Russia are working on ways to disrupt, disable or even destroy U.S. satellites.

Pence was at Kennedy Space Center to watch the SpaceX launch of a U.S. Air Force GPS satellite however, the launch was scrubbed.

Watch Pence's full remarks from KSC below:

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