The region’s aerospace industry is taking off, the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Jorge Mercado noted in his 805 Tech column:
- Three Central Coast companies contributed to the James Webb Telescope and the incredible images it is now capturing
- Vandenberg’s mission is rapidly expanding
- Paso Robles’ spaceport proposal is gaining traction
- And the region is producing companies like Umbra, which is drawing intense interest for its high-resolution satellite imagery.
“For us to get people who understand advanced space systems, we really can’t go anywhere else than Santa Barbara.” — Umbra Co-founder Gabe Dominocielo
That’s because there’s aerospace heritage in Santa Barbara that does not exist anywhere else, Dominocielo said. “Jack Northrop went to Santa Barbara High, where I went. The Lockheed brothers had their first airplane facility on State Street, a block from Umbra’s office now.”
Also about to take off: The latest weather-tracking satellite in a decade-long NOAA/NASA partnership is set to launch from Vandenberg Nov. 1.
Cool fact: For more than a decade, the Joint Polar Satellite System satellites have each orbited the Earth from the North to the South Pole 14 times a day, flying over every spot on the planet at least twice.
For a super visual look at the mission and its role in tracking daily weather forecasts and long-term climate change, check out this overview from NOAA.
Also catching a ride is a NASA test of an inflatable heat shield that could on day help land humans on Mars — and return them back home. Watch a cool animation here.
Catch up on recent launch news:
- A smashing success: The nation’s first planetary defense mission launched from Vandenberg last year succeeded in knocking an asteroid off course. Bruce Willis would be proud.
- Firefly’s maiden voyage finally lifted off, and with a new Space Force contract, the company is now targeting the national security market.
- Yet another SpaceX Falcon 9 launched from VSFB Oct. 5, its 10th mission from the base this year.
- And the venture hoping to build a space center in Lompoc says it has met its fundraising deadline.