Model rocket with President Trump gesturing behind it (© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
President Trump speaks about the space program during a meeting at the White House earlier in 2018.(© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Trump administration is giving private space companies a boost in their efforts to capitalize on the final frontier.

President Trump signed a space policy directive on May 24 aimed at streamlining regulations on commercial use of space.

Trump signed the directive just days after SpaceX launched another rocket from California carrying satellites into orbit. The launch and several others planned for June are examples of private industries’ growing interests in space for commercial and scientific research.

“It’s a bit of a renaissance, a bit of a Space 2.0. Finally, the commercial sector is starting to come back and do some really interesting things,” said Will Marshall of Planet Labs Inc., a provider of geospatial data with hundreds of satellites.

Marshall said data can help farmers improve yields, companies improve maps and governments respond quickly to disasters.

Spacecraft on ground with people around it (U.S. Air Force)
The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is a reusable unmanned spacecraft seen here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017. (U.S. Air Force)

Many business models for space companies

Satellites are now launching with laser communication, enabling satellites to “talk” to each other and the ground with super-high data streams. On the International Space Station, astronauts conduct a wide range of experiments that would not be possible on Earth. Satellites also orbit the planet for purposes of national security.

The space station orbits Earth 16 times a day, providing exposure to a harsh but unique environment for experiments. Some experiments help people on Earth, such as studies helping people with bone loss and injuries. Others look to enable future human exploration into deep space.

“There is so much opportunity right now in space; Mars is one of those opportunities,” said Chad Anderson, chief executive officer of Space Angels, which invests in the space industry.

While NASA works on sending humans to the moon and Mars, the space near Earth and beyond will become busier as businesses explore this final frontier.

This article is based on a Voice of America report.