The nation's newest military branch just got a vote of confidence from the Biden administration.
The U.S. Space Force has "the full support of the Biden administration," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a news conference today (Feb. 3).
"The desire for the Department of Defense to focus greater attention and resources on the growing security challenges in space has long been a bipartisan issue informed by numerous independent commissions and studies conducted across multiple administrations," she added.
President Joe Biden and his team, Psaki continued, will not revisit the decision to establish the Space Force, which was officially created in December 2019. Indeed, Biden does not have the power to eliminate the Space Force, even if he wanted to do so, she said: "It was established by Congress, and any other steps would actually have to be taken by Congress, not by the administration."
Today's comments served to clarify remarks Psaki made during a briefing yesterday (Feb. 2), in response to a reporter who asked if President Biden had made any decisions about the Space Force's scope and future.
"Wow, Space Force. It's the plane of today," Psaki said with a smile yesterday, apparently referring to a question she got last month about Biden's preference for Air Force One's color scheme.
"It is an interesting question," she added. "I'm happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I'm not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that."
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Today we got that update. In addition, yesterday evening, Psaki made an effort to mend fences with anyone who viewed her initial Space Force comments as dismissive or disrespectful.
"We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work," she said yesterday via Twitter.
It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Psaki didn't have a wealth of Space Force information and ideas immediately to hand yesterday. The Biden administration is dealing with a number of pressing issues as it gets up and running, especially the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so space issues likely aren't a big priority at the moment.
Editor's note: This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 3 to include Psaki's comments from the Feb. 3 briefing.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.