U.S. considering new military space branch

In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 photo, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, left, carrying NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, sits at its launchpad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission, scheduled to launch on Thursday, Sept. 8, is the first U.S. attempt to reach an asteroid return a sample to Earth for study. (NASA/Joel Kowsky via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WESH) —A new branch of the military service – something Congress is talking about – could have a huge impact on Central Florida.

The House plan would create a separate military service for space operations, a new U.S. Space Corps, that would take over much of what the Air Force now does at Cape Canaveral.

As military satellite launches continue with regularity at the Cape, Congress is debating whether to establish a U.S. Space Corps. One of its major installations would likely be Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

One Congressional committee has already voted to create the Space Corps, splitting it off from the Air Force. The debate is already underway, but it’ll take a lot more votes and a presidential signature to make it happen.

Supporters said the new space corps would take over space duties from the Air Force. They believe it would make space a higher priority. It would be a new branch of the military, the first since 1947.

“A new space corps may add focus and resources while elevating the profile of space as a critical national imperative,” said Dale Ketcham, of Space Florida.

Ketcham is concerned, however, that a space corps may add bureaucracy and make a slow and rigid process slower.

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