Cutting-edge space enterprises with thousands of high-paying, future-oriented jobs sprinkled throughout the Central Coast, from Ventura County to the south and Monterey to the north — a giant leap for commercial space, rivaling the 100-mile radius around Florida’s Cape Canaveral.
This is the future the REACH board envisioned when it made the initial investment in a master plan to forge a flourishing space industry centered around Vandenberg Air Force Base.
With this private-sector leadership, we’re now pushing ahead with partners in the military, industry, government and education. Last week, we announced an agreement that brings the 30th Space Wing, the State of California, Cal Poly and Deloitte to the table in pursuit of a shared vision for the future of space innovation and exploration — something that’s never happened before. Santa Barbara County has since joined the partnership.
The announcement garnered significant media coverage, not only across the Central Coast but also state and national outlets including Politico, Sac Bee, LA’s ABC affiliate, Miami Herald and Space News.
“The potential for the commercial space industry to provide significant jobs and economic impact to not only the Central Coast but the entire state of California makes it worth pursuing aggressively,” REACH CEO Melissa James said. “Through diverse partnerships and collaboration, we will ensure the Central Coast of California is the launchpad for the next frontier of commercial space.”
We and our partners envision a robust cluster of space-related activities taking root in the region, with sustained presence of companies across the ecosystem, from manufacturing and launch to maintenance and support, and enabling human spaceflight for the first time in California.
To get there, we will develop a master plan that identifies the required infrastructure, human capital development, governance and financing necessary to support the U.S. Space Force mission and position California as a global leader in the future of the commercial space industry.
Why here, why now
The region boasts several attributes that make it an ideal location for commercial space operations.
Vandenberg already maintains active launch capabilities, capacity to support a larger industry, and favorable geography, and Cal Poly produces world-class engineering and science talent.
The U.S. government, in its first National Space Strategy, identifies the space industry as a top priority and highlights dynamic partnerships between government and commercial partners as essential to our economic prosperity, national security and scientific knowledge.
And the commercial space industry itself is expanding, with growing commercial launch demand and significant private investment.
In the news
The announcement gained significant media attention around the Central Coast and the country. Check out some of the coverage.
- POLITICO: Morning Defense Newsletter
- Inside Defense: New MOU lays groundwork for future spaceport at Vandenberg AFB
- SpaceNews: California seeks to expand commercial space launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base
- Aviation Week: Commercial Spaceport Plan For Vandenberg AFB
- Santa Barbara News-Press: Spaceport seen as Vandenberg’s destiny
- Noozhawk: Landmark Pact Lays Groundwork for Expanding Commercial Space Business at Vandenberg AFB
- Santa Maria Times: Stakeholders unveil plan to build thriving spaceport at Vandenberg AFB, bolster local economy
- News Times: Groups announce partnership to grow commercial space at Vandenberg
- KSBY News: Business, government leaders form coalition in support of Vandenberg bid to become Space Command headquarters
- KEYT News: Leaders discuss plan to develop thriving spaceport at Vandenberg Air Force Base
- San Luis Obispo Tribune: More rocket launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base? New partnership wants to make it happen
- Santa Ynez Valley Star: Landmark agreement unites parties in boosting commercial space operations on Central Coast
- Pacific Coast Business Times: Coalition set to unveil aerospace economic plan