The Space Corps is the umbrella organization which regulated all interplanetary and interstellar space flight to and from Earth. They were responsible for the creation of spaceships, the colonisation of the Galaxy, and the introduction of holograms, GELFs and artificial intelligences such as mechanoids and Simulants throughout the Galaxy.
The Space Corps is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Star Corps (Red Dwarf 1996 Log Book), Space Federation ("Back in the Red, Part Three"), and the Star Fleet (Last Human and "Back to Earth, Part Two").
Space Corps Directives were the law by which Earth-based starships were governed. (RD: Quarantine) Common punishment, such as smuggling an unlicensed animal aboard a spaceship, often included being put in Stasis and therefore forfeiting months or years of wages whilst being frozen on time. This is how Dave Lister ended up being frozen in time for three million years. (RD: The End) Lister had initially joined the Space Corps as a way of getting back to Earth after inexplicably ending up on Mimas after a drunken pub crawl. (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)
Whilst English language is predominant in the Space Corps, Esperanto was the semi-official language of the Space Corps. This was stated in the novels, and hinted at through the signage on Red Dwarf in the television series (i.e. Level - Nivelo). Rimmer failed to learn Esperanto disastrously. (RD: Kryten)
The DollarPound was the official currency throughout the Space Corps (Mentioned throughout both the television series and the novels), although aboard Jupiter Mining Corporation ships, personal Company credit gained through work could be used.
The Space Corps had a 23 stanza-long anthem, which was sung by Arnold Rimmer, in its entirety, as he planted the Space Corps flag and claimed the Psi-moon for the Space Corps, unknowing of the nature of the planetoid. As it transformed around them with violent earthquakes, Starbug collapsed on top of Kryten and the mechanoid said that it was a relief from Rimmer's anthem singing. (RD: Terrorform)
The Space Corps were involved in genetic engineering, resulting in the creation of GELFs throughout the galaxy, and in planetary engineering and terraforming to make S3 Planets. Their terraforming technology had gotten so far advanced that a planet could be made habitable in days, such as on Rimmerworld (Planet), or even landscaped to an individual's psyche, such as on the Psi-moon. Ocean seeding ships such as the SSS Esperanto created entire ecosystems where there had been none, although it didn't go as planned. (RD: Polymorph), (RD: Terrorform), (RD: Back to Reality), (RD: Rimmerworld)
The Space Corps had commercial interests, and the Jupiter Mining Corp (JMC) was under its auspices. The mining ship Red Dwarf was owned by the JMC, but crewed by the Space Corps. The JMC also had classified contracts for prison transport, and Red Dwarf had a secretive prison called The Tank for transferring the galaxy's most dangerous prisoners in the galaxy to Adelphi 12. Prisoners often made up volunteer armies, such as the Canaries. (RD: Back in the Red I)
The Space Corps used robotic labour, such as with the maintenance Skutters. Ships were often run by on-board supercomputers, such as Holly, Gordon, Cassandra and Pree. Mechanoids, such as those created by DivaDroid International, were also common on board Space Corps starships. The Space Corps were responsible for the creation of the Simulants, bio-mechanical killers created for a war that never took place. Some of the Simulants escaped the dismantling program, and now prowl around deep space looking for the last humans. (RD: Gunmen of the Apocalypse) The Space Corps had also constructed an automated prison, Justice World, which held deranged Simulants in a Justice Zone that made any crime they committed come back on them. (RD: Justice) A large portion of the Space Corps seems to have been wiped out by the Epideme virus. (RD: Epideme)
Most of the Space Corps is military in nature, utilizing Space Corps External Enforcement Vehicles to enforce frontier law in deep space. The higher ranks are based on the naval and air force ranking system, whilst the lower ranks include Third Technician up to First Technician. In an alternate dimension, Ace Rimmer was the Space Corps test pilot out of a base on Mimas, which tested the Wildfire, a ship so fast it could travel between dimensions. Working-class spacemen, such as miners and maintenance, were often referred to as Astros. Astro-navigation exams had to be passed to become an officer, and Arnold Rimmer had failed these exams dozens of times. (RD: The End) Rimmer had also been in the Space Scouts, the youth wing of the Space Corps, when he was younger, and during which he nearly got eaten. (RD: Stasis Leak)
The time-traveling division of the Space Corps was the Infinity Patrol. They used quantum rods on their spacecraft to transverse time and space, and whose ships included the SS Trojan, the Columbus 3, and presumably others seen in the show such as the hologrammatical ship Enlightenment and the SS Manny Celeste.
- Lister: "Those Space Corps jocks were all jerks. Just a load of over-privileged, practical-joke playing party boys."
Rimmer: "Party boys? They were Space Marines, Listy, ripped and pipped. Their slogan is 'whilst you sleep, we're probably saving the Universe.'"
Lister: "That's funny, cause I thought it was 'Whilst you sleep, we're probably shaving off your pubes and gluing them to your head.'" (RD: Trojan)