The US Government has just created a special defence force for combat in outer space
The US President, Donald Trump, has signed legislation creating a special defence force for outer space.
This US Space Force officially came into being when Mr Trump signed the annual military budget, the €666 billion National Defense Authorization Act.
"Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a war-fighting domain of its own," said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
"Maintaining American dominance in that domain is now the mission of the United States Space Force."
The US Space Force is a military service branch within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments within the Department of Defence.
The Space Force, through the Department of the Air Force, will be headed by the Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defence.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2019
The highest-ranking military officer in the Space Force will be the Chief of Space Operations, who will exercise supervision over Space Force units and serve as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, the Space Force will be comprised of about 16,000 Air Force and civilian personnel, some already taking part in the Space Command.
It will have its own uniform, shoulder patches and even, eventually, its own song, just like the other branches of the US military.
At the signing of the law yesterday Mr Trump said there is "going to be a lot of things happening in space, because space is the world's newest war fighting domain".