President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget proposal includes money to launch the Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military.
After initially proposing the Space Force as a stand-alone department, President Trump scaled down his plan after resistance from the military and Congress.
The Space Force will now be a part of the Air Force, similar to the way the Marines are part of the Navy.
The buildup for the new Space Force sparked the imagination of many Americans, but the launch is shaping up to be a slow and deliberate process.
John Logsdon is a professor at the George Washington University Space Policy Institute and says the Trump Administration has recognized political reality.
“It will be a gradual transition starting with an organization that’s still part of the Air Force,” said Logsdon.
A budget proposal laid out by the president on Monday calls for spending just $72 million next year to stand up the Space Force with 200 employees.
Over the next five years, the cost grows to $2 billion, still a tiny fraction of military spending during that period, but the Trump administration says its an important start.
That’s why Republican Congressman Mike Rodgers from Alabama says he’s been pushing the Space Force for several years.
“We’re gonna start having discussions about what the administration is sending over… take the ones we like, modify the ones we don’t,” said Congressman Rodgers.
One of the big decisions that need to be made is where to put the agency’s headquarters.
Logsdon says states with a current stake in the space industry have a leg up.
Florida, Alabama, Colorado and California are seen as top contenders.