State Fight: The space sector is buzzing in Huntsville, Alabama

Rocket City does not intend to relinquish its title.

“Huntsville will continue to be a truly important place for space in many ways, obviously in terms of engines and launch vehicles,” said Mike Ward, senior vice president of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce for government and the public.

Huntsville is home to Blue Origin engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne rocket engines, and Dynetics is working on NASA’s military and commercial space programs. The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center manages the space launch system and coordinates the experiments of the International Space Station from Huntsville. Local staff are also developing space station environmental support systems, producing space modules and conducting space research.

“All of these things make Huntsville relevant today and relevant tomorrow,” Ward said.

In neighboring Decatur, Alabama, the United Launch Alliance produces missiles Atlas, Delta and Vulcan Centaur. Also nearby is the development and testing of U.S. Army missiles at Redstone Arsenal.

To support the space sector, Alabama is promoting aerospace technology on the campuses of the University of Alabama, the University of Auburn and the University of Taskiga. Calhoun College offers training in high-end community skills that are needed to attract employers in aerospace, such as welding, 3D printing and processing with numerical computers, ensuring “reliable workforce development,” Ward said.

Meanwhile, the state is investing on all fronts to support the industry, from education and workforce development programs to the necessary infrastructure and creating a business environment that allows companies to succeed, ”said Steve Sewell, executive vice president of economic development. Alabama Partnership. “This is an absolute priority for Alabama, down to the highest levels in our state.”

This is partly due to the economic contribution of the space sector. Alabama’s historic space achievements are also a “true source of pride” for the state, Sewell said.

This article originally appeared in February 2022 of SpaceNews magazine.

In this series State Fight: The space sector is buzzing in Huntsville, Alabama

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