Expanding the universe of Central Coast space

Space Symposium symbol We’re coming to you this week from the Space Symposium in Colorado, joining local companies and state officials in expanding the universe of the Central Coast space industry.

The conference comes on the heels of deepening state and regional partnership to rev the economic and innovation engine of Vandenberg Space Force Base. Read on to see why we’ve never been more excited about the Central Coast’s trajectory.


A joint mission: state and regional partnership


A large group of state and local leaders stand in front of a launchpad at Vandenberg Space Force Base


Vandenberg was center stage last month for a week of high-level state confabs with base and regional leaders. Among the highlights:

+ The state’s new Space Industry Task Force, helmed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), met on the Central Coast for the first time as it maps out ways to build on the unprecedented space activity at Vandenberg and statewide.

+ The Governor’s Military Council convened at Vandenberg and heard a presentation by REACH on the regional partnership boosting space industry growth around the base.

+ Senior state officials and Military Council members toured the opportunities at Vandenberg with REACH and base leaders.+ GO-Biz Director/Senior Newsom Advisor Dee Dee Myers and aides joined the growing coalition of regional Vandenberg partners over dinner to deepen collaboration on enhancing the Central Coast space innovation, economic and workforce ecosystem.


“There’s growing recognition that California and the Central Coast have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build on federal and industry momentum for space, and state and regional leaders are coming together like never before to capitalize on it.”
— REACH VP of Strategic Initiatives Julie Sinton Pruniski


REACH President/CEO stands with GO-Biz Director Dee Dee Myers at Vandenberg Space Force Base

Space Delta 30 Commander Col. Robert Long presents to a room of state and military officers








New horizons for Vandenberg

Launches nearly doubled last year and are on track to double again this year, with 42 on the docket and growing demand from national security and commercial customers. Other growth-related developments:

Rending of a mission development zone at Vandenberg Space Force Base+ Growth projections for the base look like the proverbial hockey stick, with the potential for 500 new personnel by 2028 — and that’s not including the possibility of being named STARCOM HQ, a decision expected this year.

+ Plans for a commercial mission development zone with launch control, payload processing and public viewing and educational facilities are moving forward.

+ The federal budget proposal calls for hundreds of millions in funding to modernize Vandenberg facilities and infrastructure as part of the military’s Range of the Future initiative.


The place for space

Vandenberg’s rocket launch range may be the nucleus of Central Coast space activity, but it’s far from alone. Check out our new interactive tour of the region’s diverse aerospace ecosystem.


Rocket launching from Vandenberg


Paso launches spacetech testing ground

The Paso Robles airport welcomed space technology companies conducting tests for NASA’s Artemis program — a series of missions launching the next era of human space exploration.

Among the group was Stellar Exploration, a San Luis Obispo-based company that most recently provided the micro-propulsion system for NASA’s CAPSTONE project and has inked a letter of intent for the Paso spaceport proposal.

The tests marked the debut of a new site for testing small-scale space technologies developed in a long-unused area of the airport, which was originally built as a Marine Corps bomber base.

 In other Artemis news, Cal Poly alum Victor Glover will pilot the Artemis II moon mission next year.


NASA Astronaut/Cal poly alum Victor Glover “Cal Poly is the reason that I’ve been able to do some amazing things,” Glover said in a 2022 campus visit. “This is truly my original launch pad.”


Rendering of the California Space Base project Lompoc space edutainment center plans advancing

A space-themed education center proposed for 82 acres adjoining Hancock College’s Lompoc campus is moving closer to fruition. Pale Blue Dot Ventures has been working toward a development agreement with the city, raising money and hiring key personnel for Space Base California, a complex offering immersive attractions, educational programs and Vandenberg launch viewing. The City Council will review concept, feasibility and experience design plans tonight. Pale Blue Dot projects that the project will draw 340,000 annual visitors, create 400 local jobs and generate $5 to $6 million in tax revenue for the city.


+ SpaceX‘s latest Vandenberg launch — its 7th this year — carried a satellite for Umbra, a Santa Barbara-based company transforming the global market for ultra-high resolution earth imagery. (Its motto: Delivering global omniscience.)

+ Next up, a Minuteman test with a launch window starting at midnight tonight.


And space all over the place

+ Deloitte — a member of the Vandenberg MOU group behind the Vandenberg Commercial Space Master Plan — has formalized its space consultancy amid explosive industry growth.

+ Both Deloitte and Brookings released new reports examining unprecedented public and private investment in space and how it can accelerate innovation, economic equity and climate research.


The space economy has become one of the fastest-growing sectors. Valued at roughly $400 billion today, the space economy has grown by over 60% in the last decade and is forecasted to grow to more than $1 trillion by 2040.
Deloitte Riding the exponential growth in space report