Trump Orders Steps to Boost Growth in Commercial Space Industry

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is ordering a series of new regulatory reforms designed to encourage the commercial space industry, in a move the White House says will help stimulate business growth and create new jobs.

The directive, which Trump is set to sign at the White House on Thursday, orders the Transportation Department to create a new regulatory system for managing launch and re-entry activity. The government will consider requiring a single license for all types of commercial space flight operations, and replacing prescriptive requirements in the current process with performance-based criteria.

Separately, the president has asked the National Space Council to review export licensing regulations impacting commercial space flight activity. A report on potential changes to those policies is due to the White House within 180 days.

The administration hopes to have the new framework in place next year and is hoping to encourage a faster turnaround of these licenses, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the directive on the condition of anonymity.

The presidential directive will also require the Commerce Department to create a "one-stop shop" for administering and regulating commercial space flight activities. Trump has also asked for a report on improving U.S. space radio frequency spectrum policies to encourage commercial space industry.

"The Trump administration’s actions on space mean investments in high-tech, middle class and blue collar jobs that fuel our economy and secure our future," the National Space Council’s executive secretary Scott Pace said in a conference call with reporters.

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