The airbase at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which launched the first ever U.S. astronaut, has been redesignated as one of the first two Space Force bases, Vice President Mike Pence announced today.
The nearby headquarters on what is known as the Space Coast has also changed hands, now becoming the Patrick Space Force Base.
The U.S. Space Force was launched in 2019, joining the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps as a distinct fighting force—the first time a new military service has been created for more than 60 years.
“America is leading in Space once again,” Pence told a meeting of the National Space Council on Dec. 9, in which he named the 18 astronauts who, in 2024, will be leaving earth in NASA’s first mission to moon for over 50 years.
The last mission to the moon was also launched from Cape Canaveral, where Pence made his announcement.
Last week, Beijing landed a probe on the surface of the moon and raise the Chinese Communist Party flag with a robotic arm, noted Pence.
“China is increasingly emerging as a serious competitor in space,” he said.
According to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), China is second only to the United States in the number of operational satellites, with more than 120 devoted to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
China has also been developing its warfare capabilities in space.