Category Archives: Space

Washington State space and tech teams awarded NASA grants.

NASA LogoThe depth and breadth of expertise in aerospace and technology has positioned Washington State companies as leaders in outer space exploration. Seven Washington businesses have won a share of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants.

Out of 399 proposals, Bothell-based Tethers Unlimited had four proposals accepted and six other Washington companies, BluHaptics, Kymeta, MSNW, Sienna Technologies, Systima Technologies and Voxa, also presented winning proposals. These companies will further space exploration with remote robotics systems, small satellite data transmission, fusion energy powering to Mars and deep space destinations, advanced thruster technology and portable spectroscopic scanning microscopes.

Read more in Geekwire.


Blue Origin nabs prestigious award.

Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft clears the tower in a test flightJeff Bezo’s Blue Origin has been awarded the 2016 Robert J. Collier Trophy for “successfully demonstrating rocket booster reusability with the New Shepard human spaceflight vehicle through five successful test flights of a single booster and engine, all of which performed powered vertical landings on Earth,” the NAA said.

CEO Bezos and company join a who’s who of aviation and space pioneers in winning the trophy, including Orville Wright, Glenn Curtiss and SpaceShipOne.

The Collier Trophy is awarded annually to mark the year’s greatest achievement in U.S. aeronautics or astronautics. New Shepard and Blue Origin have also won the Heinlein Prize, Goddard Memorial Trophy and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, among other honors.

Blue Origin is another shining example of Washington’s emerging leadership in commercialized space, joining other companies such as Planetary Resources, Aerojet and Space X to create new ideas and innovations that lower the cost of space and expand our reach to the stars.

Learn more about Blue Origin’s award and learn more about Washington State’s space cluster.

To the moon (and back).

Workers roll out the first BE-4 engine in the Blue Origin Factory in Washington StateBlue Origin has debuted its new BE-4 engine, which will power a new generation of rockets, including the company’s own New Glenn spacecraft. A follow-on to New Shepard, the New Glenn will have the capability of flying missions to the moon.

The new engines were built in Blue Origin’s Kent production facility and will undergo testing soon at the company’s West Texas test range. After it passes those tests, it will be used on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, scheduled to replace the Atlas V.

The engine will also be used to power Blue Origin’s New Glenn family of rockets, which are currently in development. New Glenn is not only designed for orbital missions, but translunar missions as well. Missions to the moon would also utilize the company’s BE-3 engine for the second stage.

The company has already secured its first customer for the New Glenn, Eutelsat Communications. Eutelsat’s satellite will provide coverage for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

The BE-4 is just another shining example of Washington’s growing space sector.

Read more about Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine and the company’s plans for the future.

Building better, bigger rockets.

New Glenn RocketWashington State has been a leader in aerospace manufacturing for over a century. And, as the design of spacecraft, rockets and booster systems grows in the state, so does the manufacturing side of the equation.

Blue Origin, one of several Washington-based space companies, is expanding their operations with additional manufacturing space for their next generation, more powerful New Glenn rocket. The planned 236,000-square-foot warehouse complex and 102,900 square feet of office space are southwest of Blue Origin’s current headquarters and rocket production facility in Kent, just south of Seattle.Read more about the company’s planned expansion in Geekwire.

Building on the depth of experience in aerospace and the breadth of high-tech and advanced manufacturing expertise, engineers in Washington State with an eye towards space have been building an eco-system of successful space pioneers. Blue Origin, Vulcan Enterprises, Planetary Resources, SpaceX, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Tethers Unlimited are some of the more well-known space explorers in Washington.

To learn more about our growing space cluster contact


Space hub expands in Washington State.

SpaceX logoWashington State is increasingly becoming the epicenter of space exploration. With over a century of aerospace know how and a phenomenal depth of tech expertise in the state, home-grown companies like Blue Origin, Vulcan Aerospace, Planetary Resources and Tethers Unlimited have been joined by space industry leaders such as SpaceX and Aerojet Rocketdyne to create a hub of space innovation in Washington.

In 2015, SpaceX opened a facility in Redmond, Washington to begin work on a network of satellites. Now the operation is significantly expanding to accommodate increased staffing capabilities and may be looking towards a manufacturing facility in the future. Read more at

Washington State is pushing the envelope for commercial space exploration and travel. To learn more about the growing space industry in Washington contact


More eyes in the sky taking images of earth.

image of earth from spaceAnother company has joined the burgeoning space industry in Washington State.  San Francisco-based Planet, with offices in several other countries, has opened an engineering office in Bellevue, Washington. The company is deploying nanosatellites that create an orbiting imaging system.  The imagery becomes a resource for tracking crop production, urban development, environmental changes and monitoring disasters.  Read more in

Washington’s space industry is flourishing and companies like Planet can find the engineering talent they want along with the cloud computing resources and data analytics expertise they need. The space exploration ecosystem in Washington State includes major players such as: Blue Origin, Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Tethers Unlimited, Vulcan Aerospace, SpaceX, Planetary Resources and Spaceflight Industries’ BlackSky.

If your company could benefit from being part of a fast growing space industry contact

Washington space company makes science fiction a reality.

space-mfgsatellitesAdvanced manufacturing is moving into space and building the foundation of a robust in-space economy. Firmamentum, a division of Washington-based Tethers Unlimited, will be testing additive manufacturing technologies on board space systems. The goal is for lightweight, carbon-fiber composite structures to be fabricated in space. This allows for significantly larger and therefore, higher performance satellite components to be created in orbit rather than being limited by the smaller units that are currently being launched.  The company is also testing  in-space recycling demonstrations.  Read more in The Seattle Times.

Washington State has become a space exploration hub where companies like Blue Origin, Vulcan Aerospace, Insitu, Planetary Resources and Tethers Unlimited are pioneers in the new frontier.  To learn more about the robust space industry in Washington State contact

Washington space company launches imaging satellite.

earth-aerialviewThe goal is to have a more efficient and affordable earth imaging platform. BlackSky Global, a subsidiary of Washington State based Spaceflight Industries, is developing a constellation of satellites that will provide an unprecedented view of the world with high quality images and time-sensitive data feeds. Having nearly real-time, detailed images of earth can be useful for opening up new markets in weather forecasting, tracking earthquake damage and environmental activity, observing herd migration, urban planning, forest management and monitoring shipping activity, among other uses. The satellite was launched from the space center in Sriharikota, India. The satellite was deployed into orbit for testing its design and the ground systems for receiving imaging data. The color images will provide a resolution of one meter per each image pixel. Read more in The Seattle Times and

Washington companies like Blue Origin, Spaceflight Industries, Planetary Resources and Aerojet Rocketdyne are redefining travel and commercial exploration in space.  The depth of engineering and software development talent in Washington along with the cultural of collaboration and pioneering spirit has created a robust environment for space  exploration.

To learn more about the growing space industry in Washington, contact


Blue Origin announces new rocket.

blog-blue-origins-new-glenn-feature1Washington’s space cluster continues to redefine the market for innovative commercial spacecraft, propulsion and systems.

Washington-based Blue Origin has just announced its new entry into the commercialized space launch system market.

The New Glenn, named after astronaut John Glenn, will be the biggest, most powerful rocket built since the 1960s moon missions, says Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and

The multi-stage rocket, to be launched from the company’s Cape Canaveral facility, uses the new BE-4 engine being designed and built in Kent, Washington. Each rocket has a projected thrust of 550,000 pounds, meaning the New Glenn’s seven engines should put out 3.85 million pounds of thrust at launch. The New Glenn will have a two and three stage configuration, which is shown in the illustration next to the first stage, which will be able to land autonomously on land, similar to Space X’s Falcon 9.

The new rocket’s first flight will be by the end of the decade, said Bezos, who hinted at a bigger rocket also on the drawing board, New Armstrong.

Read more…


Mini thrusters propel mini payloads.

Space-abstractWashington-based Tethers Unlimited has recently won $2.2 million in  contracts to produce small propulsion systems with a fuel source that is non-explosive, non-toxic and unpressurized. The fuel is a mix of hydrogen and oxygen and created by splitting water molecules. Only 4 inches wide the powerful mini-thrusters are highly maneuverable. This technology will facilitate mining ice crystals on asteroids which can be converted into fuel for satellites while they are in space. Read more in Geekwire.

Space exploration has become a thriving industry in Washington State. Reusable rockets, lower space launch vehicles, unmanned aerial systems, in space 3-D printing  and highly maneuverable thrusters are just some of the technologies being developed by Washington companies.

To learn more about the emerging space industry in Washington State contact