The Biden administration is reportedly drafting an executive order to streamline space rules

The president could sign the order by early next year.

Jonathan Ernst / reuters

The Biden administration is reportedly drafting an executive order designed to modernize federal space regulations. According to Reuters, White House officials have hosted multiple “listening sessions” since November 14th. The goal of those meetings has been to hear from private space companies and the rules they would like to see introduced.

Reuters reports the White House wants to simplify licensing and approval procedures for more routine space activities, including things like rocket launches and satellite deployments. Among the measures the Biden administration is considering is an order that would task the Department of Commerce with creating an online tool that would guide companies through the licensing requirements from each federal agency. The team drafting the order is also looking for ways to push Congress to give certain federal agencies oversight of space activities that aren’t covered by current laws, including things like asteroid mining and space junk removal. The order could be ready for President Biden to sign by early next year.

The administration’s push to streamline space regulations comes as companies like Blue Origin prepare to spend billions on projects like Orbital Reef, a space station the firm hopes to start assembling in low Earth orbit by the end of the decade. The next decade is also likely to see a new space race between the US and China play out as the rival superpowers look to put humans back on the Moon. Private space firms are likely to be critical in the outcome of that conflict.