CAPE CANAVERAL — Florida's top leaders are calling for the state to be the new home for the U.S. Space Command.
- President says Space Force would help US be prepared for adversaries
- Others say possible sixth branch of military would cause problems
- Gov. Ron DeSantis says Space Force in Florida makes sense
- RELATED: Lawmakers Push for Space Force HQ to be in Florida
It comes just after President Donald Trump signed a directive to establish a Space Force.
"It's the future. It's where we're going. I suspect -- whether we like it or not — that's where we're going — it's space," the president said during a ceremony Tuesday at the White House. "That's the next step and we have to be prepared, our adversaries and whether we get along with them or not, they're up in space and they're doing it and we're doing it."
The president signed Space Policy Directive 4, which begins the process of creating the sixth branch of the U.S. military.
The directive calls on the Pentagon to draw up a legislative plan to submit to Congress.
Today, I am formally sending a request to @realDonaldTrump to place the headquarters for the Space Force Combatant Command here in Florida @NASAKennedy in Cape Canaveral. This is part of Florida's history and is a logical fit for our state.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 19, 2019
Shortly after the announcement, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the president, urging him to base the U.S. Space Command in Florida.
"As the world's premier gateway to space, Florida has been the departure point for more cargo and humans to space than any other place in the world, so I believe our state is the logical choice to base this new command," DeSantis said in a statement.
.@RepMichaelWaltz and a bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers pen a letter to— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) February 19, 2019
the Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, encouraging him to locate the headquarters of a future U.S. Space Command in Florida: pic.twitter.com/4qltyHx7ln
A group of Republican and Democratic members of Congress sent their own letter to the president, asking for the same.
DeSantis has also called for Space Florida to make it a top priority to pursue and secure the new Space Force headquarters in Florida.
DeSantis says Florida's Space Coast makes sense for a base.
Kennedy Space Center is currently home to the top-secret space plane, the X-37B.
Nearby, the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force base are key to ensuring successful launches for commercial and government satellites.
Space Florida's Dale Ketcham told Spectrum News in May 2018 that threats posed by Russia and China could cripple satellites in space and bring our economy and communication to a standstill.
"Eventually, everyone understands we're going to need to have fleets of starships as part of the defense," said Ketcham, "the same way the Federation had fleets of starships in 'Star Trek.'"
Despite it sounding like an out-of-this-world idea, a Space Force could provide a big boost to the Space Coast's economy, some say.
However, it is ultimately up to Congress to establish a sixth branch of the military and there has been some hesitation.
"If concentrating authority in a space force creates an incentive for nations to build space weapons that increase the likelihood of conflict, it would be a profoundly bad idea," Dr. Laura Greg, a senior scientist in the Union of Concerned Global Scientists said in a statement.
Hollywood is capitalizing on the president's proposal.
Netflix recently announced it was creating a comedy about forming the Space Force, starring Steve Carell.