US agencies announce enhanced partnership for commercial space travel and more

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An enhanced partnership plans to take American commercial interests out of this world.

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced plans for commercial space activities. 

Plans include the transportation of both government and non-government passengers, cargo and payloads for orbital and suborbital missions.

Commercial flights to space could be in the not-too-distant future.

“This FAA-NASA collaboration at the Administrator level will advance America’s commercial space sector, aid science and technology, and help coordinate U.S. national space policies,” said outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The two agencies released a memo on Friday to express mutual interests in cultivating a robust commercial space industry that includes the commercial space industry as well as U.S. national space policies.

FAA and NASA are set to create an infrastructure for stable launch and re-entry frameworks that are transparent and avoid multiple sets of standards. The agencies are also seeking to advance a point-to-point commercial suborbital pilot program with designated spaceports and other airspace design elements.

“NASA is now flying commercial cargo and crew missions to the International Space Station, and soon we will send more people and science to space on new suborbital flights,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Our partnership with the FAA will support the growth of American commercial aerospace capabilities that will benefit NASA, the nation and the entire world.”

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