Space on the agenda in Sacramento

Map of California showing participants of recent space innovation breakfast The “Space Triangle” of the Central Coast, Mojave/Kern, and LA/Long Beach. Cementing a statewide space entity á la Space Florida. Building on the massive pipeline of federal investments and momentum for space.

These were the topics of a REACH-led California Space Innovation breakfast that brought together leaders from Space Launch Delta 30, GO-Biz and other state agencies, Assemblymember Gregg Hart, Paso Robles, Brookings Institution, Cal Poly, SpaceX, Relativity Space, and B3K Prosperity, the REACH counterpart in Bakersfield/Kern County.

“The growing space industry in California represents an exciting opportunity for the Central Coast to attract high quality jobs and investment,” Hart said. “I look forward to continuing the collaboration that coalesced around the table to ensure California and the Central Coast are global leaders in the space economy.”

Space Innovation breakfast in SacramentoThe gathering marked a new stage of collaboration to level up the state’s space game, capitalizing on enormous momentum and opportunity to grow jobs and attract investment. The federal government is investing many millions in the region (see our March newsletter), with congressional leaders urging the state to lean in. Meanwhile, launches from Vandenberg continue to climb, with the latest mission taking off Tuesday, and the Paso Robles Space Innovation + Technology Park continues to take shape.

+ The Sacramento gathering took place in conjunction with the California Defense Leadership Summit, where Space Launch Delta 30 Commander Col Mark Shoemaker and Executive Director Tom Stevens, Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne and Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute Operations Director Dustin DeBrum were among those featured on stage.

Air Force Secretary Kendall speaks to a crowd at Vandenberg Space Force Base+ Closer to home, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall visited Vandenberg last week to get a first-hand look at how the base supports space operations, a critical component of the growing federal priority to ensure access to space amid increased global competition.

“We need space resiliency, the ability to have assets in space, as both Russia and China have built and are building a wide array of weapons to attack our satellites,” Secretary Kendall said.

+ The annual State of Vandenberg event earlier this month explored increased space launch activity amid this “era of great competition,” and the base unveiled its new crowd-sourced motto: “Welcome to Space Country: Gateway to the future!

graphic showing Space Launch Delta 30's new motto

“The defense industry is … I believe, the No. 1 economic driver in the state of California ahead of agriculture and the entertainment industry,” Shoemaker said. “So what we’re hearing from the state is they’re committed to continue to do that.”