Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said the Defense Department is on track to establish a U.S. Space Command and a Space Development Agency in early 2019, Space News reported Thursday.
The official expects the DoD to continue moving forward in its space reorganization efforts, as the agency may not face any congressional resistance in the coming year and existing executive authorities can be used to set up the new space command and agency.
Shanahan said the Space Command may stand in the first quarter of 2019 if the Senate immediately confirms a four-star commander to lead the organization.
However, he noted establishing the Space Development Agency may require more time.
DoD officials are still in talks over possible leaders of the agency and their specific tasks.
Shanahan is also leading a Space Governance Committee tasked to create a bill to establish President Trump’s proposed Space Force.
He said the panel aims to submit a legislative proposal that would establish the new service on Oct. 1 of next year.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson estimated that forming the Space Force and Space Command would cost $13B over the next five years.