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House Armed Services Committee Approves New National Defense Authorization Act

The HASC has approved the 2022 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The approval took a 16-hour long markup session. The bill includes various provisions related to the US National security space policy and DOD procurement of technologies related to space. The bill has approved $23.9 billion that will be added to Pentagon’s $715 billion budget for 2022.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the HASC Chairman, had opposed the increment in the budget was but at the same time was supported by a large number of Democrats. This led to the passing of the 42-17 bill. The NDAA is yet to be passed by the House, which will then reach the Senate floor for consideration post-approval by the House.

The provisions for US National security space given in the bill include the procurement of commercial space technologies, the establishment of the Space National Guard, and amendments to military personnel. In addition to this, the bill has approved the procurement of new capabilities and technologies to secure the space force and combat threats. Provisions related to the movement and action on the Moon and the cislunar space are also included in the bill.

The bill requires the space force to provide a report on Next-generation satellite communications that will replace Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) with more powerful communications. The bill also seeks a report related to the Impact of space debris, especially in the low Earth orbit. Many other space-related provisions have been added to the new bill.

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