Mr Cruz, the chairman of the subcommittee on aviation and space, said during an official congressional hearing that the president’s plan to spend more than $2bn to create the space force would help make sure that the types of pirates who steal goods in the seas aren’t able to adapt to space.
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognised the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors,” Mr Cruz said.
He continued: “Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognise the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
A Congressional Budget Office review of the plan found that adding a Space Force military branch to the existing lineup of American defence forces would require an additional 5,400 to 7,,800 personnel, and would add $1bn to the Pentagon’s yearly costs.
The senator’s comments were sure to be noticed online, and soon after the comments made the rounds, SpaceX’s Elon Musk responded to the idea in a simple tweet with a pirate flag.
Meanwhile, Nasa software engineer Kevin Gill tweeted out a photo of a pirate ship orbiting the earth.
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