While many consider space to be the final frontier, for aerospace companies, it's where their work begins. The aerospace industry is booming in Silicon Valley, home not only to one of the most prominent hotspots of space developments known as the NASA Ames Research Center, but several other organizations tackling the most intense challenges of aerospace travel and bringing them into reality.
Developing further aerospace solutions affects not only our collective goal of breaking deeper into space but also our capabilities when it comes to furthering agricultural, industrial and additional capabilities on Earth. Find out more about these 11 Silicon Valley aerospace game changers making an impact both above and below the atmosphere.
Silicon Valley Aerospace Companies You Should Know
- Acubed by Airbus
- Kairos Aerospace
- Made In Space
- NASA Ames Research Center
What they do: Acubed works to drive innovation in the aerospace industry through the use of technical domains including artificial intelligence, autonomy, data analytics, rapid prototyping and digital communication. As a division of Airbus, Acubed aims to create a stronger, overall aerospace industry by taking on high-impact innovation projects and bringing revolutionary products to market.
Location: Mountain View
What they do: Kairos Aerospace uses data and advanced scanning technology to provide the agricultural and oil industries with solutions for finding methane leaks. The company uses onboard GPS and its proprietary methane spectrometer to determine site methane emissions, with instruments flying at altitudes of 3,000 feet to rapidly spot target areas and survey up to 100 square miles per day.
Location: Mountain View
What they do: Loon takes a unique approach to providing internet access to people worldwide — polyethylene balloons outfitted with solar panels and antennas. Balloons are launched 20 km into the air to distribute a wide ranging internet signal that can be received by LTE smartphones, ideal for underdeveloped regions or areas experiencing blackout conditions.
Location: Moffett Field
What they do: Made In Space manufactures and develops large-scale structures and components that enable safer space exploration and settlement research. From building complete structures to creating high-powered telescopes and remote sensors, Made In Space’s mission is to use technology to further reach into space while keeping astronauts and explorers safe in the process.
Location: Menlo Park
What they do: Millimeter Consulting Group designs and prototypes unique space solutions for use in radar, antenna, robotics, drones, autonomous vehicles and additional applications. The company’s expert team and precision CNC milling machine allow for more intuitive prototyping, plus Millimeter offers full simulation, test and measurement capabilities up to 110 GHz when working with wavelength technology.
Location: Santa Clara
What they do: Momentus is primarily focused on being able to move satellites into precise orbital locations where traditional rockets won’t reach. The company’s future goals, however, are much more ambitious and include water prospecting throughout the entire solar system, in-space manufacturing, and even space tourism.
Location: Moffett Field
What they do: The NASA Ames Research Center is one of the most pivotal homes for space exploration in the United States, with several research and development facilities dedicated to aeronautics within the research center’s near-500 acres. Core competencies at Ames include entry systems, advanced computing, aerosciences, cost-effective space missions and more. The facility has been involved in missions to the International Space Stations, planning for the journey to Mars, and in facilitating better life on Earth.
What they do: Quantum3D works with commercial, civil and defense organizations worldwide to ensure that the airways stay safe through training and simulations that prepare pilots for ever-changing environments. Organizations including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, The Spaceship Company, Raytheon and Honda have trusted Quantum 3D with necessary training in flight, refueling, infantry and ground vehicle operations.
Location: Palo Alto
What they do: SpacePharma wants to expand pharmaceutical developments beyond the limits of the stratosphere, utilizing miniaturized microgravity lab technology to develop new drugs in space. The unprecedented possibilities that come with microgravity tech can already be seen throughout stem cell research, microbiology, cancer research and in reducing the effects of aging, all done at a fraction of a cost and at higher success rates than traditional methods.
Location: Morgan Hill
What they do: Toray Advanced Composites manufactures materials and composites necessary for advancing capabilities in the aviation and aerospace industries. Products from the company include epoxies for launch vehicles, UAVs and helicopters, thermoplastics for commercial aircraft and additional materials for use in satellites, heatshields and rovers. Additionally, Toray is also active in the automotive, consumer and industrial markets.
Location: San Mateo
What they do: Xona Space Systems is driven towards improving the satellite-based navigation and positioning technology that critically impacts many crucial industries. The company has contributed research to new developments in weather tracking, aerial control and precision control, leading to major benefits in critical infrastructure and the agricultural and maritime industries.