Silicon Valley’s zero-gravity space startup boom

San Jose Mercury News
By Marisa Kendall
March 21, 2016

MOUNTAIN VIEW — The next big thing in space explo­ration might not come from a shiny NASA research facil­i­ty. Instead, it may spring from an aban­doned gas sta­tion or a con­vert­ed McDon­ald’s in the heart of Sil­i­con Val­ley’s grow­ing space start­up scene.

Bay Area com­pa­nies are com­mer­cial­iz­ing the space indus­try, with ambi­tions as lofty as the cruis­ing alti­tude of the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion. They range from Deep Space Indus­tries, which plans to mine aster­oids, to Made In Space, which is work­ing on in-space man­u­fac­tur­ing, to Plan­et Labs, which aims to take dai­ly pho­tographs of every­where on Earth.

Just as in oth­er tech­nol­o­gy sec­tors, Sil­i­con Val­ley is lead­ing the space start­up boom. At least a dozen space com­pa­nies have popped up in the Bay Area over the past few years, with a con­cen­tra­tion tak­ing over emp­ty build­ings on Moun­tain View’s Mof­fett Field.

Read the rest of the arti­cle at the SJMer­cury web­site.

Robert Simmon, a data visualization specialist, looks over maps at Planet Labs in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, March 4, 2016. Planet Labs builds and

Robert Sim­mon, a data visu­al­iza­tion spe­cial­ist, looks over maps at Plan­et Labs in San Fran­cis­co, Calif., on Fri­day, March 4, 2016. Plan­et Labs builds and oper­ates tiny satel­lites that take images of the Earth. (John Green/​Bay Area News Group)