Yahoo News Explains: What’s next for the U.S. in space?

From Space Force to space flights, where will the next generation soar?

In 2017, tech giant Elon Musk announced that his company SpaceX would send humans to Mars by 2024.

According to the Mars One website, 100 candidates of the 202,000 people who applied remain in the application process. But in a recent interview, Musk said he wasn’t sure whether he’d be aboard or not.

Regardless, things are moving forward following SpaceX’s recent launch of the most powerful rocket in the world: the Falcon Heavy.

While Musk might be attracting a lot of press lately, NASA is still heading “to infinity and beyond.”

The government agency is launching a deep space atomic clock in 2018 to test whether it could be the future of spacecraft navigation. The technology is 50 times more accurate than today’s best navigation clocks.

NASA is also sending a rover to Mars in 2020 to investigate whether the red planet supported microbial life in the past.

“At my direction, the Pentagon is now working to create the sixth branch of the American armed forces, the Space Force. Space Force — that’s where it’s at,” said President Trump.

Trump has frequently mentioned his plans for a new branch of the military called Space Force.

Vice President Mike Pence is in charge of the U.S. space agenda, and he’s outlined ways the administration can prepare for the potential branch.

But with the House of Representatives now Democratic, it seems doubtful Trump will get an act of Congress to approve the proposal.

In addition, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson estimated that creating the Space Force could cost $12.9 billion over five years.

And with the House approving spending bills, the proposed branch is unlikely to soar out of this world.

With these endeavors still in development, it looks like there’s more to look forward to on the final frontier.