U.S. Capitol Building. Credit: Wikicommons

WASHINGTON – A House defense spending panel has recommended $649 million less than the Pentagon requested next year for a newly created military space procurement account that includes eight major programs.

The U.S. Air Force requested $2.58 billion for the account, which is designed to increase transparency in military space spending and includes procurement money for critical missile warning, communications, weather and navigation satellites, as well as for rockets and other activities.

In a draft spending bill released May 19, the House Appropriations defense subcommittee recommended $1.935 billion for that budget line. However, the bill also included $452 million for space procurement from the overseas contingency fund.

The subcommittee has yet to release a report detailing funding for military space and other activities, and is expected mark up the legislation May 20.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.