- Nov 29, 2023
Honoring Veterans for Their Pivotal Role in Shaping the NewSpace Economy
Bill Fagan was born July 4th, 1922. Like many in his generation, he was drafted and served our country during WW2 shortly after graduating high school. When he returned home, he immediately got to work, using the GI bill to return to The Ohio State University, where he earned his degree in engineering. Upon graduation, he went to work for the newly formed U.S. Air Force, where he began work on a new project called “Apollo.” Bill would go on to serve our country for over 35 years, working on both the Apollo program and the Shuttle program.
As we celebrate Veterans Day, it’s essential to recognize and appreciate the invaluable contributions of our military Veterans like Bill, not only in defending our nation but also in propelling us toward the final frontier – space. While Bill’s story is deeply personal to me – he was my wife’s grandfather – his story has been repeated multiple times across the space industry. The space industry, with its ambitions to explore new worlds and harness the power of the cosmos, has significantly benefited from the skills, discipline, and leadership of our veterans.
Our veterans bring to the space industry a unique blend of expertise and qualities that are crucial for the demanding challenges of space exploration. Whether they served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, or Coast Guard, their experiences have equipped them with qualities that make them indispensable assets in the space sector.
Discipline, leadership, problem-solving skills, technical expertise, and resilience; military service instills a strong sense of these attributes which are paramount in the space industry, where precision, cooperation, and the ability to make quick, sound decisions are essential. Many veterans have left and continue to leave their mark on the space industry. John Young, Eileen Collins, and Wally Schirra are just a few examples of military veterans who represent our best and brightest, and have elevated humanity into the stars.
By recognizing the contributions of veterans to the space industry, we not only celebrate their achievements but also highlight the importance of continuing to invest in their talents. In doing so, we honor the service and sacrifice of these brave men and women, whose dedication to our country extends beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. As we look to the future of space exploration, let us honor and support our veterans’ continued involvement in the space industry. Initiatives to transition veterans into space-related careers, educational opportunities, and mentorship programs are vital to ensure the space industry continues to benefit from their exceptional skills and experiences.
On a personal note, as a veteran, and father of two young men who aspire to continue our family’s tradition of military service that dates back to the Civil War – it is so important that we continue to invest in the NewSpace economy. I have seen firsthand how our space-based assets protect our men and women serving in harm’s way and by investing in these assets we are working to protect the next generation of veterans.
This Veterans Day, let us salute our veterans for their vital role in advancing space exploration. Their unique skills, dedication, and resilience have propelled humanity to new heights and will continue to do so in the years to come. As we reach for the stars, let us always remember and support those who have served and continue to serve our nation both on Earth and beyond.
Joe Reagan is the President of NewSpace Global, a Multiverse Media brand, a leading market analysis firm specializing in emerging commercial space opportunities. Joe’s background and experience spans multiple industries and his thought leadership on issues ranging from healthcare, technology, and national security have positioned him as a trusted advisor to senior leaders across government agencies, Fortune 500, and non-profit companies. In addition to his extensive experience in the private sector. Joe began his career as an Officer in the U.S. Army, where he held a number tactical and strategic roles including two combat tours to Afghanistan. He is the recipient of multiple awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Ranger Tab, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.