“Let me just say welcome to the future.” Those words are from New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich about the work being done at NewSpace Nexus. The vision of NewSpace Nexus’ CEO, Casey Anglada DeRaad, is to ignite and unite the space industry in New Mexico.

“We really wanted to tell the story of all the space assets that the state of New Mexico has and how we are a leader in the first space race. We could be in a position to lead in this new space race,” says DeRaad.

One way NewSpace Nexus is moving forward in space exploration is through its NewSpace Ignitor program. Founded in 2022, the program is celebrating its one-year anniversary this year. The goal of the program is to help space industry companies succeed by giving them all of the tools and resources needed to take their work from concept to product to sales.

The work being done is so important that it caught the eye of New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. “When I served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I secured $11 million over the course of two years for the Air Force Research Lab’s tech engagement office. This funding paved the way for a collaborative partnership between AFRL and New Space to establish the Ignitor program,” says Senator Heinrich.

Three companies in particular, Goodman Technologies, RS21, and Auriga Space, have been through the program and are already experiencing the benefits. “They really do a lot more for you than any other that I’ve seen. They provide expert coaching. They provide access to training where they bring in outside expertise with regularly scheduled events to train you. They give you the opportunity to pitch at a number of significant venues,” says Dr. Bill Goodman, the founder and CTO of Goodman Technologies.

Charles Rath, the president and CEO of RS21, says his company has really taken off since going through the NewSpace Nexus Ignitor program. “We’ve received capital funding, we have been introduced to dozens of interested customers both in the government and in the commercial sector, and we have started to receive some very profitable contract wins,” says Rath.

And for Winnie Lai, the CEO of Auriga Space, she says she chose to take her company through the program because she was hoping to find the right buyers for her technology. “We decided to participate in the NewSpace Ignitor program because we thought it would be a great way for us to get in front of potential buyers – both in the commercial as well as the defense communities – talk to them, understand their requirements. We were able to do that very successfully,” says Lai.

These are just some of the successes coming out of the NewSpace Nexus Ignitor program. With many more to come in the future, New Space Nexus is ready to continue to lead the way for space success here in New Mexico. “If we just start telling the story, providing these resources, showing off what we have here, it’s attractive, they’re going to come,” says DeRaad.

To learn more about NewSpace Nexus and its Ignitor program, click here.