Lawmakers and officials say United States needs to be competitive in space

D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Monday, members of the House Armed Services Committee heard about the challenges facing the nation’s space programs.

“We now see threats to space from the ground, threats to space in space, we see in the future maybe threats from the ground from space,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said.

Turner as well as Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) agree the country needs to be competitive in space.

“We need to be able to field systems that work and field them faster,” Cooper said.

Those who testified said the space program’s biggest threat is the separate programs from foreign countries.

“The growth of Chinese and Russian counter-space capabilities presents the most immediate and serious threats to U.S. allied and partners space activities,” Space Policy Assistant Defense Secretary John Hill said.

Hill says China and Russia views space as critical to modern warfare.

“The United States must now be prepared for conflict to extend to or even originate in space,” U.S. Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson said.

Thompson says the U.S. is already working to make sure the country doesn’t fall behind.

“Strengthening relationships with existing partners and establishing relationships with new partners,” Thompson said.

But both Hill and Thompson agree the U.S. needs to move faster to compete.

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