Mississippi governor says state will create space force

Published 2:15 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

Mississippi is starting a new economic development effort to lure companies connected to space exploration.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant announced the Space Initiative on Monday during an event at Stennis Space Center in coastal Hancock County, where NASA rocket engines are tested.

The leader of the economic development effort will be Patrick Scheuermann, former head of Stennis Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center.

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Bryant also announced the formation of a Mississippi National Guard Space Directorate. Its commander will be Col. Billy Murphy of the Mississippi Air National Guard’s 186th Air Operations Group.

A news release from the governor’s office says the directorate lines up with President Donald Trump’s Space Force Initiative, and will create and use space technology for defense and for disaster response.