The US could soon have a branch of the military dedicated to defending and potentially fighting in outer-space.
This isn't a sci-fi novel. President Trump directed the Pentagon on Monday to create a new "space force" as a separate branch of the US military that would be tasked with ensuring America's dominance in space.
"My administration is reclaiming America's heritage as the world's greatest spacefaring nation," Trump said during an East Room meeting with members of his space council. "The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers."
The order seemed to catch the Department of Defense by surprise since a new branch of the military would need congressional approval, but they're already laying the groundwork.
Trump said the creation of this new sixth branch of the US military will be overseen by Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space," Trump said. "We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal."
The DOD is working on a congressionally mandated study of the possibility of a space force with a final report due in December.
For decades, other US presidents have also recognized the importance of America having a presence in space.
Vice President Mike Pence is leading the recently revived space council, as well as several Cabinet members, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, retired astronauts and scientists.