North Carolina Looks at Developing Space Tourism Industry

XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle
XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle


Elizabeth City, NC – Elizabeth City State University, supported by the North Carolina Aerospace Alliance, North Carolina’s Northeast Commission, and NASA Space Grant, will host North Carolina’s first entrepreneurial space industry (NewSpace) forum on November 12th. A reception will be held November 11th, 6-8pm at the Arts of the Albemarle.

The forum has two goals:

1. Educate state and local government, business, and academic leaders about the economic development potential of the NewSpace industry
2. Develop a “next-steps” strategy for the development of an indigenous NewSpace industry that is integrated with the state’s existing aviation- and aerospace-related industry clusters

Registration opens at 8:30am on the 12th, and Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Willie Gilchrist will begin the forum at 9am. “Our aviation and space science students are very excited about the pending space tourism flights of XCOR Aerospace and the jobs this will create,” said Chancellor Gilchrest.

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dale Carroll and the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Director Richard Walls will speak at the forum. Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace, and Bob Richards, CEO of Odyssey Moon, will provide the valuable insight of two leading NewSpace executives.

The morning includes a review by NewSpace business consultant Jeff Krukin of the NewSpace industry and its economic development potential for North Carolina. An afternoon panel will address:

* Business prospects for North Carolina aviation and aerospace companies
* The military’s support of and need for the NewSpace industry
* NASA’s support of and need for the NewSpace industry
* The role of state government
* Commercial spaceport application process

“There are remote runways in our state that would be suitable for a commercial spaceport, “explained Dr. J. Anthony Sharp, Director of the ECSU Aviation Science Program, which includes a Space Science minor. “It is a little-known fact that in the 1990’s, Lockheed Martin visited our region when they were scouting for a spaceport for its VentureStar commercial spacecraft.”

“With the NewSpace industry poised for growth in other states, North Carolina’s aviation and aerospace companies are at risk of missing business opportunities being created by this emerging industry, “said Bill Greuling, Vice President of the North Carolina Aerospace Alliance. “If you want your business to benefit from NewSpace, and if you want your state government to help create a North Carolina NewSpace industry, then you need to be at this event.”

For additional information please contact:

· Rocky Lane, Economic Development Consultant, Elizabeth City State University, 252-535-2339,

· Bill Greuling, Vice President, North Carolina Aerospace Alliance, 919-686-3823,