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Vice President listens to space companies to renew industry rules

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Vice President Kamala Harris pushed for the government to update rules governing the space industry and encourage stronger public-private partnerships, at an event that highlighted new technologies being developed by companies like SpaceX.

“Today, in laboratories, launch pads and in orbit, often in partnership with our government, commercial space companies are making the space opportunity a reality for millions of Americans,” Harris said at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. “Our government must deepen and strengthen our partnership with the private sector.”

Harris said that effort would require new rules to encourage those partnerships. “We understand that we have to update the rules,” he said. “They are just out of date. They were written for a space industry of the last century.”

Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom were given a tour of the facility and heard from space company representatives about technological developments in the private sector of the industry. Officials from the Department of Commerce and the Department of Transportation joined, as well as President Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission.

Companies participating in the tour included SpaceX, Northrop Grumman Corp., Axiom Space Inc. and Capella Space Corp., according to a White House official, along with Sierra Space Corp., Maxar Technologies Inc., Planet Labs, Nanoracks LLC and HawkEye 360 ​​Inc.

Read More: SpaceX Authorized to Send US Spy Satellites Using Reusable Boosters

Harris was named chair of the White House National Space Council, which will hold its second meeting on Sept. 9. Harris said the council will discuss ways to revamp the US regulatory framework to accommodate advances in the space industry’s private sector.

“We will do this work to ensure that our nation continues to be a role model for the responsible use of space because we know we must keep pace with the tremendous rate of innovation,” Harris said.

Prominent companies have pushed the idea of ​​commercial space travel with much-hyped rocket launches in 2021. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin sent civilian crews into orbit last year, along with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

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