WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s effort to create a new military service for space cleared a critical hurdle as the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 22 voted to approve the establishment of the U.S. Space Force in its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
The committee voted 25-2 to advance the legislation to the Senate floor, possibly the week of June 10. A summary of the markup was released on Thursday.
The SASC vote to authorize a Space Force is not surprising from a Republican-controlled Senate. But it was not seen as guaranteed given the skepticism voiced by committee members during a hearing April 11 with Pentagon officials. Several senators questioned the rationale and cost of standing up a new military bureaucracy to handle functions that the Air Force already does.
The committee agreed with DoD’s recommendation to establish the U.S. Space Force within the U.S. Air Force. But it set a number of conditions and a one-year timeline for the Defense Department to start building the Space Force and prove to lawmakers that the administration has a vision for the new service.
Space Force commander
The Pentagon proposed creating a Space Force headquarters ...