NewSpace 2016: Why Seattle is emerging as a major hub for commercial space
Science & Technology

NewSpace 2016: Why Seattle is emerging as a major hub for commercial space

The first NewSpace conference in Seattle opened Tuesday, a large leap for the Seattle space scene.

It is additionally the primary time executives from the area’s space corporations can sleep in their very own beds throughout a large convention.

The rising space sector within the Seattle space represents the subsequent evolution of the regional financial system, in response to a panel of executives from Seattle-area space corporations, moderated on the convention Tuesday by GeekWire aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle. Boeing and, later, know-how corporations like Microsoft and Amazon introduced expertise to the realm and paved the way in which for Seattle’s space ascendance.

“Boeing and the aerospace engineering pool that Boeing delivered to the Seattle space was a key spawning floor for space corporations within the Seattle space,” stated Fred Wilson, director of enterprise growth of Aerojet Rocketdyne. Primarily based in Redmond, Aerojet Rocketdyne was one of many space’s first space corporations. It was based in 1959 by 4 Boeing engineers. Former staff work at many space startups across the space.

To succeed, space corporations have to carry collectively folks from a selection of fields, panelists stated. Small space startups within the space are recruiting high folks in know-how, finance, advertising and different disciplines to show their large concepts into sustainable enterprise fashions. Space ventures aren’t nearly aerospace engineering and {hardware} anymore, however about data know-how, and that’s a large cause why Seattle is attracting space ventures.

“If you concentrate on the long run and space you want entry to 3 issues: it’s about software program, it’s about large knowledge, it’s about capital, and Seattle is an epicenter for all three,” stated Jason Andrews, CEO of Spaceflight Industries.

Nice panel lineup at #NewSpace16 @interplanetary @JasonEAndrews Charles Beam Rob Meyerson Fred Wilson @b0yle

— Joe Landon (@joe_landon) June 21, 2016

All the panelists agreed that Seattle’s high quality of life is one in all its greatest belongings. It attracts the form of folks space corporations have to succeed, not simply aerospace engineers. Which means a firm can broaden with out having to go elsewhere to seek out the fitting folks, stated Chris Lewicki, president and CEO of asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources.

Seattle does have its challenges. It lacks a NASA workplace or a launch pad. However that hasn’t deterred lots of the corporations right here from rising.

Final July, when the Space Frontier Basis announced the 2016 NewSpace convention could be in Seattle, nobody had efficiently launched and landed a rocket, stated Rob Meyerson, president of Jeff Bezos’ space firm Blue Origin. Now each Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX — which has an workplace in Redmond — have accomplished it. When the convention announcement occurred, Blue Origin had 450 staff. In the present day, it has 700.

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