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Start-Up Companies Look For Opportunities In The Commercial Space Business

Businesses that want to get in the next space race were in Houston this week for Space Com 2015. The event focused on the commercial space industry and what that means for innovative start-ups.


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Houston Spaceport booth at Space Com 2015 in Houston
Gail Delaughter
Houston’s new spaceport is hoping to attract new commercial space businesses.

One of the organizations taking part in the Space Commerce Conference and Exposition was Innovate UK. It’s an initiative by the UK government that helps growing companies, and that includes businesses with an eye toward space and satellites.

The organization’s Tim Just says it’s not only about science anymore. He says there are all kinds of ways companies can use satellite data, like maps and photos.

“Some are putting it on to a platform to make it available to other people, and some people are exploiting data from that platform and turning it into a service,” Just says.

And there’s a lot of opportunity in space commerce for even the smallest of companies.

“If you’re sourcing data from a satellite you instantly have global coverage,” says Just. “If your business works you can scale it very, very quickly and address a global market very early in the stage of a business.”

The Houston Airport System is currently working to lure these types of companies as it develops a commercial spaceport at Ellington Airport.

It will be used by space vehicles that take off from runways and it will also serve as a hub for commercial space businesses.