A defense bill that includes $11 billion for the United States Space Force is expected to be submitted before lawmakers very soon, potentially by December 11.
The White House and Democrats in Congress have tentatively reached a bipartisan deal behind closed doors to move forward on President Trump’s dream of a bonafide Space Force. The Guardian reports that part of negotiations includes giving parental paid leave to federal workers in exchange for support of the tech-driven military branch.
According to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, the Air Force has set aside a team of experts who have put designs and plans together for a successful Space Force launch.
“The US is the best in space, but the trajectory is changing,” she said, “this is a serious business. We’ve got to get this done.”
The Pentagon itself is currently deciding how to inform the public about its space-focused plans without sharing sensitive information. Still, Barrett notes that more data is probably classified than necessary.
“Our way of life is more dependent upon space than any other nation,” Barrett added. “It is important for America to get on the case of space. And we have got to be able to deter derogatory action in space, and if deterrence doesn’t work, we need to be prepared to be something other than a victim with our space assets.”
Her concerns echo those of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson who has defended Trump’s Space Force initiative in the past.
Trump first declared plans for the Department of Defense and Pentagon to form a Space Force in a surprise announcement with the National Space Council last year.
Since then, progress has been moving steadily forward on the proposed plan which will be the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.
The Pentagon reactivated US Space Command earlier this year and is currently working with the Air Force to establish headquarters for the new division.
Per Trump’s orders, the Space Force will be “separate but equal” from the Air Force.