Could the Air Capital become the Space Capital?

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Four Wichita companies have signed to do space work. With a robust space race on the way, some experts say Wichita could cash in.

“Wichita already builds high-quality airframes and has for years,” said Jeremy Hill, director of the Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research. “When you look at a sector like space, does it fit our economy? I would say absolutely.”

Blue Origin is going after space missions. Recently the CEO, Bob Smith, came to Kansas.

“It was nice to see Senator Jerry Moran talking to them. That’s what we need,” said Don McGinty with McGinty Machine in Wichita.

McGinty Machine is an aviation subcontractor.

“But getting into space, that’s where the future is, and that’s where everything is moving towards,” said McGinty.

Blue Origin is a good fit, according to Hill. He also says the space race will mean a lot of jobs for Wichita and job stability for a lot of sub-contractors.

“Look, Wichita does a lot. Very, very well,” said Hill. “Wichita can own this sector. We already have the infrastructure. Communities that don’t have our expertise and volume in aerospace would struggle.”

Hill says with space companies would be very smart to take advantage of the Wichita infrastructure, mechanical engineers, analytical skilled workers and robotics already in play in Wichita.

“Of course, we are proud of Wichita,” said McGinty. “We do aerospace, and we can do space work. It’s a natural fit.”

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