The Federal Aviation Authority and NASA are collaborating to effectively regulate commercial and federally backed space flight. The FAA will regulate and license private U.S. companies launching from or reentering U.S. soil, as well as launch sites world-over, if they involve U.S. citizens. “Working together, we will assure clear, consistent standards for the industry,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement announcing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two. The FAA has signed over 200 space flight licenses so far, including a recent approval to Virgin Galactic for rocket-powered test flight of its WhitenNightTwo and SpaceshipTwo. Elon Musk’s SpaceX-made Dragon capsule also just completed its first round trip as the first commercial vehicle to launch, dock with the International Space Station, and return to Earth.
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