Dr. Sean Casey is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Space Center, a business accelerator for NewSpace entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has over two decades of experience as an airborne astronomer.
For more than 15 years Dr. Casey has served as a senior scientist with University Space Research Association, for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This program is a joint mission between NASA and the German space program DLR. On SOFIA, Dr. Casey’s responsibilities included coordination of the design and development of the first light science instruments and leadership of science instrumentation for the early SOFIA science.
Recently, Dr. Casey has had his eye on a piece of historic real estate, NASA Ames Moffett Field’s 1,000+ acre airfield. Dr. Casey along with his Silicon Valley Space Center co-founder Dr. Peri Pappadopoulos, has formed the Silicon Valley Space Center’s Moffett Federal Airfield Alliance.
The Alliance has a plan to create office space for today’s pioneers of the NewSpace industry, innovators and entrepreneurs in areas like small satellites, space communications, mission design, unmanned aerial systems, robotics, 3D printing, aeronautics and astronomy together with other cutting edge NewSpace companies.In keeping with Silicon Valley Space Center’s commitment to space and science education, they will also create exciting programs in the new facility with top educators that will draw students not only from the Bay Area, but also the brightest minds from around the world. The Center recently led student teams from Puerto Rico, using technology from Infinity Aerospace, in the development of greenhouse module prototypes suitable for deployment on the International Space Station and other interplanetary missions. Dr. Casey states that the Silicon Valley Space Center will move their TED-like thought leaders lecture series, in partnership with the local chapter of AIAA, to the new educational facility. Additional plans for Moffett Federal Airfield and its hangers include state of the art facilities for research and space to house various sized aircraft. When asked how he felt about this project, Dr. Casey answered, “as Sir Isaac Newton stated, “we stand on the shoulders of giants” and we intend to honor the past while creating a vibrant, educational and inclusive start-up environment for NewSpace companies and the Silicon Valley community.” The Silicon Valley Space Center works with individuals and companies in mentoring and helping them get ready for angel level funding. This year they have a new offering from Richard David at NewSpace Global, as part of his monthly Thruster publication and members of the center have access. The center also offers workshops like the one they held at the beginning of summer with Ed Wright and the XCOR program.