The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Thursday’s signing of Space Policy Directive-2 by President Donald Trump:
“NASA is pleased with the White House’s continued commitment to advancing America’s leadership in space. Space Policy Directive-2 (SPD-2) is another step towards bolstering our nation’s dedication to uncovering new knowledge, protecting our national security, developing breakthrough technologies, and creating new jobs.
“Our thriving space economy will continue to grow and support our missions to the Moon and Mars thanks to the Administration’s long-term investment in commercial partners who now successfully carry research and cargo to the International Space Station, and will soon transport U.S. astronauts from American soil for the first time since 2011.
“Giving American entrepreneurs the tools and guidance to pursue innovation to the best of their abilities has served our space program well from the beginning, and allows the government to purchase services it needs while we focus on returning to the Moon, expanding our presence on Mars, and pushing deeper into space.
“We look forward to working with the Secretary of Transportation as that agency works on transforming the licensing of commercial space flight launch and re-entry and to coordinating with the Department of Commerce as it consolidates commercial spaceflight activities in the Office of the Secretary.
“A light but focused regulatory touch will help our industry partners provide the best and safest services for our nation and expedite their work. There are many innovative companies across this nation working hard to build a bright future in space, and our policies should help ensure their success on all fronts.
“SPD-2 provides yet another way for the members of the National Space Council to provide much-needed direction for the many different aspects of our nation’s activity in space, providing communication and coordination on these complex enterprises for the benefit of our nation and the world.”