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The Space Race is Back!

"Space Wallpapers" by tableatny 
Some Rights Reserved. Hosted on Flickr

With Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX pushing to dominate space travel it would seem that the “Space Race” is back and December's historic spaceflight proves it with SpaceX successfully landing a Falcon 9 reusable rocket back on Earth after launching it into orbit. Now, instead of two countries competing to explore space, we have three of the world's leading entrepreneurs going head to head.

Opposed to the 1957-1975 Space Race between the US and the USSR the current race is focusing on getting to the next level. Instead, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin, and Elon Musk of SpaceX are focusing on humans on mars vs humans on the moon. Most notably is that instead of trained Astronauts in space its consumers in space. These new ideas about space exploration create big opportunities for the thousands of manufacturers, organizations, and agencies that support space exploration technologies.

"SpaceX Erecting" by Steve Jurvetson 
Some Rights Reserved. Hosted on Flickr

SpaceX  designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft and aims to "revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets." Watch the successful launch and landing on SpaceX's website or on their Youtube channel.

When SpaceX successfully launched and landed their rocket they simultaneously released 11 ORBCOMM satellites into orbit during the spaceflight. ORBCOMM Inc. is a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication solutions. When companies like this take advantage of the new technology created by the latest Space Race the economy experiences a ripple effect. Sub-contractors, vendors and manufacturers are put to work creating new and unique products that need to arrive at SpaceX. Some of these products will have to get there the old-fashioned way... by ground travel.

Packaging will play a huge role in supporting these companies who produce and deliver critical parts around the world. Aerospace offers it own set of unique packaging and handling challenges that require new ideas for Aerospace product packaging

"Blue Origin Charon Test Vehicle" by J Brew
Some Rights Reserved. Hosted on Flickr

Blue Origin is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal of dramatically lower cost and increased reliability. After SpaceX successfully landed their rocket the two founders got into a much publicized twitter debate about the differences between "orbital" and "suborbital" flights.

"WK2/SS2 from directly below" by Jeff Foust 
Some Rights Reserved. Hosted on Flickr

For Virgin Galactic, the race is not just about space travel. The company wants to advance and dominate satellite service. Again, creating manufacturing jobs in the economy. In October 2015 Virgin Galactic was awarded a $4.7 million contract from NASA to launch more than a dozen cutting-edge experimental satellites. 

Virgin Galactic president Steve Isakowitz said “We are excited to add NASA to our growing list of customers who have signed contracts to launch small satellites onboard LauncherOne.” 

All of this new space-age technology is driving manufacturing, in California alone its easy to see the ripple effect.

LauncherOne: Long Beach, CA

Virgin Galactic leased a new 150,000 square foot facility in Long Beach, California that will house design and manufacturing the company’s small satellite launch vehicle, LauncherOne.  This includes a dedicated and world-class team of 150 experienced aerospace professionals.

Edwards Air Force Base: China Lake, CA

Edwards Air Force Base is a well known testing site for space bound rockets. The area's uses include bombing ranges, supersonic corridors, low altitude high speed maneuvers, radar intercept areas, and refueling areas.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Pasadena, CA

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a research and development center and NASA field center. This location builds and tests equipment that one day will be launched into space. 

Valley Box Company: San Diego, CA

Valley Box Company is a packaging manufacturer specializing is packing high end aerospace and scientific equipment. The company has developed many custom packaging solutions for aerospace sub-contractors. 

Topics: Wood

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden box. This specialty packaging manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugated, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty packaging to the next level.