TUCSON, AZ – Arizona is poised to become a hub for the space tech industry, as World View – the commercial balloon spaceflight company – today announced that Tucson will become home to its global headquarters, conducting launches from Spaceport Tucson. The announcement follows today’s affirmative vote on a public-private partnership with World View and Pima County, working in collaboration with the City of Tucson, Sun Corridor, Inc. and the State of Arizona.
World View will be the anchor tenant in the County Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park, and its campus will include the world’s first purpose-built stratospheric ballooning facility, ushering in a partnership that’s projected to lead to the creation of more than 400 jobs. World View will operate the Pima County-owned Spaceport Tucson, Arizona’s first launch pad dedicated to space endeavors. As a public asset, the Spaceport will serve to draw other businesses to the area, and will be available for use by other companies in Arizona. The new World View campus will be located directly adjacent to Spaceport Tucson, with move-in slated for late 2016.
World View is a technology company pioneering flight at the edge of space using innovative and proprietary high-altitude balloons and flight technologies. In addition to taking passengers to near space in a sealed capsule for transformative views of the Earth, a major component of its business is robotic flight. The same balloons are used as satellites to orbit the planet or hover over a single location, and can be used to fly instruments for communications, weather, Earth observation, and surveillance and research, all without needing a rocket propulsion as does a typical satellite. The markets for this technology are significant, and World View already flies payloads for NASA, Northrop Grumman and others. The company is backed by an international group of investors who are industry captains in technology, travel and finance.
“Spaceport Tucson sends a strong message to the aerospace community that Southern Arizona is a new center for the commercial space business,” said Jane Poynter, CEO, World View, “Arizona has now joined the rapidly growing list of states in the commercial space industry.”
Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors said, “Economic Development is like a journey to space, it takes extensive planning, a lot of hard work and bold action to achieve. World View and Pima County have embarked on a great and bold journey together today. I can’t wait to see that first balloon rise up to the heavens and see the stars.”
The new World View campus will include:
• Spaceport Tucson: Lofting Arizona into the private space industry, the launch pad at Spaceport Tucson will serve as the site of World View’s spaceflight operations, and will be available for use by other companies in Arizona.
• Balloon Manufacturing Facility: The new campus will house the company’s balloon manufacturing facility where it will produce the balloons that will carry its spacecraft and other payloads up to 140,000 feet above Earth.
• Work Space: The World View campus will house World View’s flight operations control center, engineering and testing facilities, a launch observation balcony, and a spacecraft integration high bay.
Additionally, World View will maintain its initiatives within the educational community to help local students develop an interest in science and engineering. Through various partnerships throughout the state, the World View team has worked directly with students to grant them a new perspective on how science and math can be utilized outside of a school setting and to inspire the next generation of the spaceflight industry.