Ribbon Cutting for Orbion’s New Rocket Factory in Houghton, MI
Houghton, Mich., – On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, Orbion Space Technology, and partners, will be hosting a high-tech jobs roundtable discussion with US Representative, Ro Khanna, Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist, Kanwal Rekhi, Michigan Technological University President, Rick Koubek, Deputy Director Office of Rural Development, Sarah Lucas, and other area corporate CEO’s, Presidents, and Administrators.
Houghton, Michigan has become an exemplar in the new tech economy. Local innovators are leveraging capital from coastal investors, intellectual support from Michigan research universities, and skilled workers seeking rural lifestyles to create the types of companies usually associated with Silicon Valley.
Spearheading the event and leading the roundtable discussion will be US Representative, Ro Khanna and Brad King, CEO for Orbion. The event will conclude with a ribbon cutting ceremony for Orbion’s new rocket factory located in Houghton. The new facility is the next phase in factory buildout for Orbion and will allow them to scale up their production of plasma thrusters for small satellites to hundreds of units per year to meet the demand from commercial constellations and from the U.S. government.
“Our community has quietly become a shining example of how capital, talent, and innovation can combine in a rural area to produce sustainable jobs. It’s exciting that we have caught the attention of legislators and investors in Silicon Valley and other traditional high-tech hotspots,” says Brad King, CEO for Orbion. “This event will be an interesting discussion to reflect on the key enablers that could replicate this model in other communities. And the fact that we can time it with the grand opening of our new plasma rocket factory will make it a lot of fun.”
Orbion began at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI. Co-founders Dr. Brad King and Dr. Jason Sommerville worked on a research team together at the university and later were co-principals at another space company where they worked with defense and intelligence space customers. In 2016, King and Sommerville finally formed Orbion Space Technology – a company that has since grown greatly.
This event is hosted with support from MTEC SmartZone, a high-tech business accelerator located in Houghton, MI, and The Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Both groups have provided business development support, resources, and partnership to Orbion as the company began and continues to grow.
About Orbion Space Technology
Orbion Space Technology is a company that develops and manufactures revolutionary plasma propulsion systems for small satellites. It offers a Hall-effect propulsion system comprised of a magnetically shielded thruster and impulse, power processing unit, propellant management assembly, harness assembly, and storage tank. The company also provides end-to-end services like engineering, planning, orbit and mission analysis, propellant fueling, and on-orbit support.
About MTEC SmartZone
Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) is one of 21 SmartZone Incubators in the State of Michigan. MTEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), its mission is to facilitate the creation and ongoing success of high-tech value propositions in conjunction with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2003, the MTEC SmartZone has provided mentoring, technical support, and other services to local companies that have led to the creation of over 800 high-tech jobs in the Houghton and Hancock Michigan area.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org . Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn , and Twitter.
MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship.