Public-Private Partnerships in Space sees the return of the First Commercial Space Cargo Flight

The newest competitive marketplace is out of this world, literally. Space is the newest investment frontier for companies following the retirement of NASA’s spaceshuttle fleet. Space exploration now relies on a private-public partnership between the Space Administration and companies such as California’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp.

The most recent partnership is the SpaceX Dragon capsule which returned from its “historic mission” to the International Space Station on Sunday October 28th. Its return is marked as “mission accomplished” for all parties as Dragon successfully became the first commercial cargo flight in space. The capsule, unmanned for the duration of its trip, is also the first robotic spacecraft ever to return cargo to Earth.

Launched on October 7th by SpaceX in California, the capsule carried 882 pounds of supplies including scientific equipment, crew supplies such as clothes and fresh apples, and hardware to the station. Dragon returned safely with cargo and test samples from the astronauts manning the space station, landing in the ocean off of the Southern California coast. The success of this mission bodes well for the 11 commercial flights scheduled to resupply the station, the next of which departs in January. These flights comprise a $1.6 billion contract between SpaceX and NASA.

The future is full of continued business relations between NASA and American companies. Alongside Space X, Orbital Sciences Corp is under a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to launch 8 rocket and spacecraft missions with the first launching before the new year. Additionally, a current NASA contract to launch manned orbital flights is considering bids from companies Sierra Nevada and Boeing. These partnerships have led to meaningful experimentation and the products of multilateral research reflect “American ingenuity” states SpaceX. Certainly, space exploration has entered a new age and with the success of Dragon, the future appears bright for NASA and their private partners.

Posted by: Sophia Higgins

Sources: SpaceX,, CNN, Voxxi

Photo Credit: Dragon Splashes Down @ photostream courtesy of Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video


Bringing Veterans and their Skills to the Manufacturing Sector

Four companies- Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Alcoa Inc., and General Electric- are taking on the issue of veteran unemployment in a creative way. On October 15th, this group of industry mammoths unveiled an innovative program designed to train and hire veterans to work in the manufacturing sector. Building upon the substantive skills veterans have already acquired from their military training, these programs will work with local community and technical colleges to help veterans learn new skills and earn additional certifications. This training will enable veterans to begin to fulfill the industry’s need for 600,000 highly-skilled employees which companies say they cannot find in the United States.

This initiative represents a remarkable opportunity for our veterans who are currently experiencing an unemployment rate of 9.8%, two percentage points higher than the national average. According to Jess Immelt, the Chairman and CEO of GE, “we have an opportunity to help veterans with extraordinary leadership capabilities better compete for good paying jobs with a long-term future.” Together, GE, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and Alcoa Inc. currently employ 64,000 veterans.

The program is designed to train 15,000 veterans in 10 cities across the United States and with an endowment of $6 million it provides many soldiers with the opportunity to participate free of charge. This program compliments a national effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House to help 100,000 veterans and their spouses find employment by 2014. These efforts, coordinated by the Manufacturing Alliance trade organization, also find partnership in the non-profit sector: San Diego-based Workshops for Warriors seeks to provide veterans with similar opportunities.

With a combination of strong efforts from all sides- private, public, and governmental- the objective of increasing veteran employment in manufacturing is certain to be achieved. In the words of Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO, “America’s veterans want and deserve the opportunity to contribute to our society and provide for their families. There is no greater way to say ‘thanks’ for all their service and sacrifice, which enable all of us to live safe and secure lives, and pursue our dreams every day [than this].”


Posted by Sophia Higgins

Sources: Reuters, Department of Defense, DailyFinance, Workshops for Warriors, The Manufacturing Institute

Photo source: 2010 Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans @ Mays Business Schools’s photostream courtesy of Flickr user Mays Business School

You Are Invited: Leading the Second Century of Flight

You are invited to:


Leading the Second Century of Flight


Jim Albaugh

Executive Vice President, The Boeing Company

 With an introduction by

The Honorable Jane Harman

Director, President and CEO

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Since the Wright brothers’ first flight, America’s leadership in aerospace has helped build our economy and ensured our security. Today our leadership is threatened by budget constraints at home and heavy investment by other nations abroad. In this National Aerospace Week address, Jim Albaugh will highlight what’s at stake and what steps the U.S. must take to lead the second century of flight.

Jim Albaugh is an executive vice president of The Boeing Company. A 37-year Boeing veteran, Albaugh has led the company’s commercial, defense, space and security businesses.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Woodrow Wilson Center

6th Floor, Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium

RSVP here or to receive further information, send an email to Please provide your name and professional affiliation.

Please allow time on arrival at the building for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required.

Directions at

Individuals attending Woodrow Wilson Center events may be audiotaped, videotaped, or photographed during the course of a meeting, and by attending grant permission for their likenesses and the content of their comments, if any, to be broadcast, webcast, published, or otherwise reported or recorded.

You are Invited – The Business of Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) Presents:

The Business of Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap

Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Administration for The Boeing Company

and Founding Member, Business Industry STEM Education Coalition

Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy,

Woodrow Wilson Center

Future U.S. competitiveness will depend on whether our students are given the proper skills to be college and career-ready.  Businesses, maybe now more than ever, are investing in education and forming partnerships with schools to help ensure that our students are ready to join and compete in a 21st century global workforce.  Boeing is no exception.  Project-based learning and an emphasis on STEM subjects will be key to winning the future.

___________________________________________                                                                 ____     _____        _________________

Rick Stephens is Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration for The Boeing Company, and member of the Boeing Executive Council. Stephens, a 31-year Boeing veteran, oversees all leadership development, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, Global Corporate Citizenship, and diversity initiatives at the Chicago-based aerospace company. During his career with Boeing, Stephens, 58, has led a number of business areas at sites across the U.S. and around the world that have been as large as 30,000 and $10B. Passionate about improving education both inside and outside of the classroom, he works directly with community and education leaders to prepare future workers to meet the challenges necessary to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive business environment. A former U.S. Marine Corps officer, Stephens is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association Workforce Steering Committee; a member of the Business Higher Education Forum; founding member of the Business Industry STEM Education Coalition (BISEC); member of the Illinois P-20 Council; chair of the Global Midwest Alliance; and chair of the Illinois Business Roundtable. He has served on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities and on the National Science Resource Center Advisory Board. Stephens received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1974 from the University of Southern California, where he is the Boeing executive focal, and his Master of Science degree in computer science in 1984 from California State University, Fullerton. A former US Marine Corps officer, Stephens is an enrolled member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and served as tribal chairman from 1988-89.

Monday, July 18, 2011 ~ 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Please RSVP acceptances only to

This event may be viewed via live webcast at

Posted by: PAGE Staff