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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Relativity Space co-founder and CTO Jordan Noone announced on Twitter Wednesday that he began a transition to the role of executive advisor earlier this week "in preparation for starting my next venture."

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Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator's latest class announced partnerships with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Maxar Technologies and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) North America, among others, at Wednesday's long-awaited showcase. It was the culmination of months of focused and sometimes grueling remote work.

The program aims to help companies achieve several years of commercial growth within three months, with mentorship from the accelerator's partners, including the U.S. Air Force, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industries North American (IAI), SAIC and Maxar Technology.

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