In the not so distant future, U.S. aerospace companies may build commercial space stations, apply for mining contracts in space and create a new economy on the moon — and eventually Mars, according to NASA's deputy administrator, who spoke to dot.LA earlier this month.

Jim Morhard, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in October 2018, doesn't have a space technology background but he does have an MBA, and it showed. In a wide-ranging interview after his first visit to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, Morhard talked about the administration's efforts to build up and support the space industry so that the government can step back and reap the benefits of private innovation. That effort includes setting up a legal framework for how countries should conduct themselves in space. Last week NASA and its international partners signed the accords. China and Russia were not signatories.

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