The US House of Representatives has approved a $738 billion defence bill to fund measures for the military.
It includes the creation of a Space Force as an additional armed service, which has been a priority for President Donald Trump.
This new addition to US defence will draw personnel from separate branches, offering an interstellar capability to keep up with the evolving international competition.
This follows Mr Trump's decision in August to formally establish SpaceCom, a new Pentagon command for space warfare, to oversee US military efforts in space to support troops and defend satellites.
Total defence spending would increase by about 2.8% under the bill, with personnel set to see a 3.1% pay rise and federal workers offered 12 weeks’ paid leave.
The Democratic-controlled chamber voted by 377-48, sending the conference report on the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) to the Republican-controlled Senate - where it is expected to be passed by the end of next week.
The bill provides the first paid family leave for all federal workers.
Some in the House opposed the bill, which does not include a ban on support for Saudi Arabia’s air campaign in Yemen or measures restricting the use of military funds to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.
Mr Trump has said he would sign the bill as soon as it passes.
Cover image: US Navy library picture.