Nasa and the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen the country’s commercial space activities.

The new MoU comes after the successful launch of Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-1 and will support governmental and non-governmental passenger’s transportation, cargo, and other payloads for orbital and suborbital space missions.

It will also streamline spaceflight standards and requirements.

The SpaceX Crew-1 to the International Space Station (ISS) was launched last November.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “Nasa is now flying commercial cargo and crew missions to the International Space Station, and soon, we will send more people and science to space on new suborbital flights.

“Our partnership with the FAA will support the growth of American commercial aerospace capabilities that will benefit Nasa, the nation, and the entire world.”

Under the agreement, the two sides will develop a framework for private industry to observe during commercial launch and re-entry missions.

Nasa and the FAA also aim to manage an approach for sharing safety data with the public for increased awareness of the risks of commercial space travel.

They will also collaborate on licensing of orbital and suborbital flights, as well as facilitating new space technologies and research opportunities. They will enhance point-to-point commercial suborbital pilot programmes.

FAA administrator Steve Dickson said: “The partnership between the FAA and Nasa is vital to continue the growth, innovation and safety of commercial space operations, and maintain the pre-eminence of US leadership in the aerospace sector.”

Besides these, Nasa and the FAA collaborated on commercial suborbital spaceflight activities under the Commercial Crew Program’s Suborbital Crew (SubC) efforts.