Space Command set to open, will defend US interests in space


President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, for a short trip to the White House after returning from the G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon’s new U.S. Space Command is opening for business. Its mission is to defend American interests in space.

But there’s still no Space Force.

Thursday marks the official establishment of Space Command — an organization to conduct space operations such as enabling satellite-based communications for troops and commanders in the field.

That’s different from Space Force, which would be a distinct military service, in the way the Army and Marine Corps are distinct services.

The people in Space Force would be assigned to missions directed by Space Command, just as members of the Army and other services are assigned to an organization such as U.S. Strategic Command.

When Congress returns from August recess it’ll begin reconciling House and Senate versions of bills creating a Space Force.

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