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The United States and United Kingdom signed a commercial spaceflight partnership agreement on Wednesday that will help boost quicker, more streamlined and cheaper spaceflight operations from both countries, the U.K.’s Department of Transport announced.

Under the declaration, which was signed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the U.S. and U.K. will work together on commercial space launch licensing, and companies from either country will be able to more easily operate from the other’s spaceports.

“Commercial space travel is growing swiftly and it’s our responsibility to ensure that these innovations advance safely, encouraging them to develop in ways that benefit us all,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “We’re proud to launch this partnership with the United Kingdom to bring more of the benefits of commercial space travel to our workers, businesses, and communities.”

The development comes ahead of the U.K.’s planned first space launch.

“This transformational partnership is one giant leap for both countries as we prepare for an exciting new era of spaceflight to lift off,” Shapps said in a statement.

“As we look beyond the UK’s first planned spaceflight later this year, I look forward to seeing the innovations and opportunities skyrocket thanks to this collaboration,” he added.

Tags commercial sapceflight Grant Shapps Pete Buttigieg Pete Buttigieg United Kingdom

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