Monday, November 23, 2020 / by Adam Donaldson-Moxley
Tucson gets new rocket firm as New Space industry develops
Tucson has two micro-satellite launch operations, as Vector’s new owners recently announced a restart of operations in Tucson, and Vector’s former CEO has co-founded a new small-rocket space transportation company here. And there’s more to come, including another local startup looking to launch its first ground-imaging satellite in mid-2021.
News of Vector’s apparent resurrection was welcomed by local business and tech leaders, especially Stephen Fleming, a University of Arizona technology leader who has led the Arizona Space Business Roundtable for the past three years. “It’s encouraging, but I’m encouraged by the whole ecosystem here,” said Fleming, who is director of innovation ecosystem at the UA’s new Center for Quantum Networks and executive-in-residence at the UA’s new FORGE business accelerator. “There are half a dozen cities in the country that are approaching a critical mass of people who know how to run satellites, who know how to run rockets and those kinds of things, and Tucson is one of them,” said Fleming, a longtime technology business consultant who headed Georgia Tech’s innovation enterprise for more than a decade before coming to the UA.