(NPR) — The Trump administration is set to reestablish the U.S. Space Command after a 17-year hiatus.
The move is intended as a step toward the Space Force, a sixth military branch President Trump has proposed for space.
President Trump and Vice President Pence are expected to formally reestablish the U.S. Space Command on Thursday. It's not the Space Force they want, but they intend it as a step in that direction.
Space Command is a division within the Defense Department tasked with unifying and directing national security operations in space. It's not to be confused with the Trump-proposed sixth military branch that's come to be known as Space Force — a plan that faces a much more complicated pathbecause creating a branch of the armed forces requires congressional approval.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration is hailing the revival of Space Command as a milestone in its quest to dedicate troops to the final frontier.