(National Space Defense Center )

President Trump said last week that the United States may need a new branch of the military for space. Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn said something similar last year. In fact space is already a military theater of sorts; satellites are so critical that the Pentagon has a new unit to protect them. The National Space Defense Center in Colorado Springs began around-the-clock operations earlier this year.

Marco Caceres, director of Space Studies at the Teal Group, which tracks aerospace and defense, tells Colorado Matters why satellites are so important to the military, why and how they are vulnerable to attack, and how the NSDC operates even though it isn’t officially part of any military service branch.