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Trump revives U.S. Space Command in military push into space

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By Shannon Pettypiece and Oluwatomike Adeboyejo with NBC News Politics
U.S. President Trump hosts U.S. Space Command launch event at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Trump hosts U.S. Space Command launch event at the White House in Washington   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is re-establishing the U.S. Space Command as he looks to revive America's military presence in space.

"Spacecom will defend America's vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain," Trump said at a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday. "I think that's obvious to everybody. It's all about space."

The initiative announced Thursday is separate from Trump's proposed Space Force, which would become its own branch of the military. Space Command was established during the heat of the Cold War to oversee missile defense programs and surveillance from space.

But as priorities shifted to combat terrorism, the unified combatant command based in the Defense Department went dormant.

Trump's proposed Space Force, which at one point had its own chant at Trump rallies, has yet to get off the ground: As a proposed sixth branch of the military, it would need congressional approval and funding.

Space Command, by contrast, will draw on resources from all branches of the military to coordinate U.S. defense efforts in space.