Since the early 2000s, we have been hearing a lot about private industry's role in expanding our understanding of space travel and helping with the construction of space infrastructure.

First, there was the X Prize.  More recently, we had Blue Origin and SpaceX.

Now, it seems like everyone (and everywhere) wants a piece of the multi-billion dollar space business.

According to the KJ, on Monday, Governor Mills signed bill L.D. 1923 into law.  The bill creates the Maine Space Corporation, which the newspaper describes as:

a public-private partnership charged with building launch sites, data networks and the support operations for sending small satellites into space, as well as for developing new products based on the data collected.

According to State of Maine Senator Mattie Daughtry, the sponsor of the bill, the space industry in Maine could boost our economy by as much as $1 billion per year by the year 2042.  Daughtry also said space businesses could end up employee 5000+ people.

Why Maine?

There are several factors that make the State of Maine a great place for space-based businesses.  Geographically, we are a great location for launch satellites and other launch vehicles into certain orbits.  Also, we have left over facilities from the Brunswick Naval Air Station and Loring Air Force Base.

On top of that, our high schools and universities have some strong STEM programs.  That means we are raising and educating potential employees right in the state.

SpaceX / Unsplash
SpaceX / Unsplash
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Who knows, in another twenty or thirty years, people may be flying into the Portland Jet Port or Bangor International Airport just so they can hop a rocket to a space hotel.