WASHINGTON — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is moving to set up a new Pentagon agency to oversee the development of military space technology. The Space Development Agency will be under the “authority, direction and control” of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, Shanahan wrote in a memo.
Shanahan has directed Griffin to submit a plan by March 1 to stand up the Space Development Agency no later than March 29, according to a Jan. 19 memo titled “Implementation Guidance for the Establishment of the Space Development Agency.” The existence of the memo was first reported Wednesday by the publication Inside Defense. A copy of the memo was reviewed by SpaceNews.
While the Space Development Agency would be under Griffin, Shanahan’s memo takes into account the possibility that the agency could in the future be moved into the Space Force if the new branch comes to fruition. In his plan, Griffin has to “address the eventual transition of SDA to the U.S. Space Force after approved by Congress,” the memo said.
The Trump administration in February intends to submit to Congress a proposal to establish a Space Force as a separate branch. But it’s unclear how long ...