If space is the next frontier for national security, then the Pacific Northwest may well be the new frontier for that next frontier.
That’s the word from Steve “Bucky” Butow, an Air Force brigadier general who is now director of the space portfolio at the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit.
“I really think that the best news story out of the Pacific Northwest is just how impactful this region is in the new space economy,” Butow told me. “It’s not widely recognized, but I think that’s going to be changing here in the near future.”
Butow and his teammates at the DIU got an on-the-ground look at Seattle’s tech frontier this week during a series of meetings and site visits in the region. Among the tour’s highlights were meetings with executives at Amazon and Microsoft (which just won contracts to help build the Pentagon’s Hybrid Space Architecture), a roadshow workshop with entrepreneurs and venture capital investors, and a stopover at SpaceX’s satellite facility in Redmond, Wash.