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National Space Council reinstated and headed up by Mike Pence

Earlier Friday, Ars exclusively reported on the imminent announcement of a reinstated National Space Council by President Donald Trump. And indeed, the executive order signing ceremony took place on Friday afternoon at the White House before the president departed to New Jersey for the holiday weekend. This event was highly anticipated because it signaled the deeper involvement of Vice President Mike Pence in the setting of national space policy. The new council's tasks include the coordination of military, civil, and commercial space activities and the establishment of broader goals for the United States in space. The formation of the space council should also provide some clarity on the extent to which the Trump administration, which sees one of its mandates as making the US government function more like a business, applies that methodology to the US civil space program. In recent years, new space companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have begun pushing the boundaries of low-cost, reusable rockets. A recent Air University study encouraged the military to aggressively pursue partnerships with these new space companies to "create a virtuous cycle of launch cost reductions of between 3 and 10 times lower than today’s costs." But NASA has so far largely resisted reusable rocketry. Read More: Ars Technica

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