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Saturday, Nov 26, 2022

Space Race


Longtime Orange County business and tourism exec, who from 2013 to 2018 headed operations of Disneyland, long OC’s largest employer. Currently CEO at local space travel firm—now ramping up its tech-heavy local operations via an aggressive employment push—that aims to send people from around the world on an out-of-this-world trip.

THEN: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE), founded in 2004 and which went public in 2019, bills itself as the “world’s first commercial spaceline.” Has its operational base called Gateway to Space at Spaceport America, a 25-mile spot in New Mexico, where the company will handle future astronaut launches.

NOW: Colglazier, named to the CEO role in 2020, earlier this year moved company’s headquarters designation to the Flight office campus at the Tustin Legacy development, near the intersection of Barranca Parkway and Red Hill Avenue. Spot holds a new engineering and design division that will serve as “our primary hub for R&D and the design of our new vehicles,” Colglazier told analysts earlier this year.

FUTURE: Hiring push underway for OC hub. Tustin is “an excellent location for innovation and collaboration, and we continue to ramp up engineering and support team talent to this location,” Colglazier said in a February call. Company says it will be ready to begin commercial service with suborbital space flights sometime in the first quarter of 2023.

IN THEIR WORDS: “We’re going to be building up a really large engineering staff here in OC that will play a significant role in defining the next generation of space travel.”


Heads Tyvak Nano Satellite Solutions Inc., the locally based satellite making unit of Florida’s Terran. Company, one of OC’s fastest-growing tech firms, designs and builds satellites that range from about 25 pounds and the size of a boot box to mini fridges that weigh from around 200 to over 800 pounds, according to Becker, a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Company counts a mix of government, commercial and defense clients, providing a suite of satellite solutions to our customers in the U.S. and across the globe.

THEN: “In our history, we have launched dozens of our own satellites, including over a half dozen in 2021,” Becker told the Business Journal at start of the year. He says a previously reported number of more than 220 satellites includes projects that Tyvak supported.

NOW: Terran recently took over four floors at the 400 Spectrum Center tower and announced plans to develop a new $300 million commercial spacecraft facility in Florida in partnership with Space Florida, Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority. Officials expect to have between 400 and 500 employees working at the Irvine Spectrum tower office, focusing on engineering, design and development work for small satellites. Tyvak has also added significantly more manufacturing space in Irvine Spectrum area this year.

FUTURE: Tyvak, whose parent company went public earlier this year (NYSE: LLAP), aims to deliver more than 1,000 satellites per year as prices come down and both defense and commercial uses grow, according to Becker.

IN THEIR WORDS: Of the growing demand for small satellites, there’s no issue with overcrowding, Becker says. “Space is big. There’s plenty of room.”

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