United States acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan emphasized on the formation of a space force to combat with the rising space rivalries of China and Russia while speaking at the 35th Space Symposium on April 9, 2019. The space force in addition would comprise of a Space Command and Space Development Agency which would ensure USA’s upper hand against its adversaries.
The organization, Space Development Agency, which stood up on March 12, is led by former DARPA official Fred Kennedy. The SDA will not only be an asset to the United States national security but will also be essential for its economic security too. As China is advancing its space capabilities, it poses a serious threat for the United States to safeguard its $19 trillion economy.
The SDA will also open new opportunities for the exploration of space for the American economy as the cost of launching will see a considerable decrease in the coming future as per the advancement in the technology of space exploration and research. But to his demise Shanahan said that the Department of Defense was not keeping up the pace required for the SDA to function rapidly. As the US military presently relies on a range of satellites for its functioning, SDA will reduce the military budget to a great extent.
Shanahan’s speech comes up two days prior to his testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee scheduled on April 11th. Furthermore on the question of the cost efficiency of the new branch and the additional bureaucratic charges which it brings, Shanahan stated that the new service will be functioning under the supervision of the Air Force and would substantially bring down the cost to a large extent for the DoD budget. The whole program would cost no more than $1.50 per year per American.
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