When people think of space exploration, few first think of the vast, sun-swept deserts of Nevada. However, just beyond the reach of the Las Vegas glitz is a history rich with NASA astronauts, nuclear-powered rockets destined for Mars, the first pen designed to write in space, and even a spaceport once on the books.
Now, if the entrepreneurial gamble of Astrowright Spaceflight Consulting (Astrowright) and several other local space flight, development, and support services firms pays off, Nevada will soon become synonymous with space.
Joining both long-standing and newer aerospace companies in and around the Vegas valley, such as Arcata Associates, Bigelow Aerospace, Flightline Films, Microlaunchers, and Fisher Space Pen, Astrowright aims not only to ramp up the “NewSpace” aerospace market with a spectrum of custom spaceflight services, but it also hopes to help establish aerospace as a secondary economic industry in the region to tourism, supplying jobs and stimulus that the forclosure-crippled community sorely needs.
As part of a new education and outreach initiative intended to increase public awareness and support for the aerospace legacy of Nevada, Astrowright is launching the “Nevada Space Exploration” exhibit initiative. In the coming weeks and months, look for videos highlighting exciting and little-known aspects of space history in Nevada, eventually culminating in an interactive museum exhibit currently being designed.
The first of these videos, presented below, highlights the NASA-Atomic Energy Commission’s Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) Program. Located at the former Nevada Test Site, the JFK-endorsed research at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station built and tested visionary rocket engines designed to power human exploration of the planet Mars.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates, and for more information about Astrowright’s history, mission, services, or staff, visit www.astrowright.com.