ALAMEDA – Governor Gavin Newsom early last week visited Astra Space, Inc. (Astra) in Alameda to highlight the economic and technological advancements California is supporting in partnership with space companies.
“Companies like Astra demonstrate the best of California – driving towards ambitious, innovative goals and leaning into the rich talent that is so abundant in our state,” said Governor Newsom. “California has always been, and will continue to be, the home of companies on the cutting edge, and we are excited to support and partner with the next stars of the space industry.”
Astra is creating a new generation of launch and space services and products to improve everyday life and better meet the needs of the space market. Astra is setting ambitious goals to improve access to the space economy by aiming to increase its manufacturing production from the current monthly rate to a daily rate while emphasizing diversity and innovation in its workforce.
“California is home to some of the best software, manufacturing, and engineering talent in the world. It is also home to many of our customers,” said Chris Kemp, Astra founder, chairman, and CEO. “Astra is proud to be based in California, a state that has incubated many of America’s most innovative companies.”
California is committed to supporting companies that help drive innovation and economic growth in the state, and that share the state’s values. Astra employs over 330 full-time Californian employees and contributes over $50 million annually to the gross domestic product of Alameda.
California is home to a number of the leading companies in the space industry. Commercial space and aerospace companies have a long history in California – providing high-wage jobs, and access to the first spaceport permitted and authorized by the FAA in Mojave. California is also home to Vandenberg Space Force Base, which provides space companies a unique outlet to launch into polar orbit.
The state is working on several initiatives to support the commercial space industry in California, including:
- Partnering with the Air Force Research Lab at Edwards Airforce Base for private space companies to share and utilize legacy testing infrastructure
- Supporting the development of additional sites for commercial space launch
- Devising workforce training partnerships and funding with California Community Colleges through multiple employer contracts for the industry under the Employment Training Panel
- Supporting regional economic development initiatives across the state that are community-led and with a focus on space
- Identifying supply chain solutions that align with federal goals, such as building out a critical mineral supply chain in California for technologies for commercial space