In an announcement that suggests government budget cuts might actually be good news for some businesses, NASA announced Thursday that it is setting up a "Space Technology Mission Directorate" to promote the development of space technology and innovation that will lower costs for space exploration.

According to the agency:

The directorate will be a catalyst for the creation of technologies and innovation needed to maintain NASA leadership in space while also benefiting America's economy ... [developing] cross-cutting, advanced and pioneering new technologies needed for NASA's current and future missions.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden clarified that the new Directorate will engage in "collaboration with industry and academia," funding research and development projects at NASA centers, but also "in academia, and industry." This suggests the new directorate could become a source of government contracts for companies working in the space industry, even if overall government spending on NASA itself comes under pressure from budget cuts.