Over 70 businesses and organizations are members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF). Executive Members include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, and spaceports, and Associate Members include suppliers supporting commercial spaceflight, such as providers of mission support services or training services. Click on a company name to jump down the page to a detailed description, or scroll down this page to see the entire list.
With over 10 years of research and development, Bigelow Aerospace is dedicated to providing affordable options for spaceflight to national space agencies and corporate clients. In 2006 and 2007, Bigelow launched orbiting prototypes of Genesis I and Genesis II, and are currently working on new-generation spacecraft. Using patented expandable habitats, they plan to greatly exceed the usable space of the International Space Station at a fraction of the cost.
Blue Origin, LLC is developing technologies to enable private human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability. Blue Origin adopted an incremental approach, with each development step building on the prior development. Blue Origin is currently focused on developing rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space.
Cecil Field Spaceport (airport code VQQ) is located approximately 15 miles west of downtown Jacksonville, Florida, and is one of five airports run by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. As a decommissioned naval airbase, Cecil Field has four runways, including one of the longest runways in Florida at 12,503 ft. Using this infrastructure, Cecil Field is preparing to become a base for suborbital commercial human spaceflight in Florida.
Founded in 2004, Masten Space Systems is a rocket technology and flight services company headquartered at California’s Mojave Air & Space Port. To date, Masten has completed nearly 500 flights across 5 reusable, vertical takeoff and landing (VTVL), rocket-powered vehicles. The company is an industry leader in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) and precision landing technologies. Masten is currently making remarkable progress in three high-profile programs: Phase 1-B for DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) Program, a partnership with NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program, and serves as a frequent and reliable flight provider for NASA STMD’s Flight Opportunities Program.
Midland International Air & Space Port is the first U.S. commercial spaceport to be co-located with a major commercial airport. This provides access to modern terminal facilities and allows for easy access to direct flights as well as a growing metropolitan area with many amenities. The Midland Development Corporation can provide active business support and economic incentives for diversified companies that establish and retain jobs in the area. Texas’ regulatory environment makes the available sites at the Midland Spaceport Business Park a prime setting for office space, R&D and manufacturing. These collective benefits are attracting a growing cluster of innovative aerospace companies and a strong labor market of engineers and technical workers with transferable skills.
Located in Kern County, California, the Mojave Air & Space Port is recognized as the world’s premier civilian aerospace test center and is currently home to over 40 companies engaged in flight development to light industrial to highly advanced aerospace design, flight test and research, and even heavy rail industrial manufacturing. The Mojave Air & Space Port has amassed more first flights and significant news worthy flight activity than any other airport in the world over the past five years, and in 2004 hosted the Ansari X PRIZE winning suborbital space flights of SpaceShipOne.
Selected by Forbes as one of the ’15 Names You Should Know’ in 2011, Moon Express (MoonEx) is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company based at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. The company will send a series of robotic spacecraft to the Moon for ongoing commercial exploration and development focused on benefits to Earth. Moon Express has signed a partnership agreement with NASA for the development of its lunar lander systems and has been selected by NASA for a commercial lunar data services contract worth up to $10M. MoonEx is a leading contender in the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) competition, which challenges privately funded teams to place a robot on the Moon’s surface that transmits high definition video, images, and data back to Earth from the landing site and from 500 meters away.
Orbital Outfitters is a NewSpace company that provides a range of services to vehicle developers and other companies in the aerospace sector. Their two primary lines of business are the development of space and pressure suits and the fabrication of full scale vehicle mockups for either engineering or public relations purposes.
Planetary Resources’ goal is to expand Earth’s natural resource base by developing and deploying technologies for asteroid mining. Planetary Resources is planning on bringing the natural resources of space within humanity’s economic sphere of influence.
Founded in 1963, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is a world-class prime systems integrator and electronic systems provider known for its rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions. Fast-growing and widely diversified, SNC is a high-tech electronics, engineering, and manufacturing corporation that continues to expand its impressive portfolio of capabilities, programs, products and services. SNC is a privately held company under the leadership of CEO, Fatih Ozmen, and President and CFO, Eren Ozmen. Headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, SNC is the Top Woman Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. SNC specializes in the areas of Renewable Energy, Telemedicine, Nanotechnology, Cyber, Net-Centric Operations, Microsatellites and Human Space Flight.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), which has committed funding to fly researcher-astronauts and their payloads aboard commercial suborbital spacecraft, is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of more than 3,200 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. The Institute occupies more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio, Texas with laboratories, test facilities, workshops and offices, with satellite offices in locations such as Boulder, Colorado. SwRI staff also lead the CSF’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group.
Space Florida is an Independent Special District of the State of Florida for the purposes of fostering the growth and development of a sustainable and world-leading space industry in Florida. As the State of Florida’s aerospace economic development agency, Space Florida fosters bold economic development activities to expand and diversify domestic and international opportunities that support talent development, enhance infrastructure, and support governments and organizations in improving the state’s competitive business climate.
Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has been providing commercial vertical launch services since 2006. Spaceport America has a 12,000 foot runway, several vertical launch areas, 24/7 security and on-site fire and EMT services. Spaceport America continues to work closely with its tenants, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, and its other flight customers in support of the commercial space industry. In addition to supporting aerospace activities, the spaceport is available to host special events such as photo-shoots, conferences, movie productions and concerts.
Spaceport Camden’s mission is to create the premier spaceport strategically positioned to provide economic diversity with a competitive advantage for the space sector. The Camden County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the community, will be collaborating with the Camden County Joint Development Authority, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and other State and Federal Agencies, and commercial space companies, in pursuing the development of a World Class Spaceport in Camden County, Georgia, U.S.A..
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth — a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA. The SpaceX team now numbers over 3000, with corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Virgin Galactic is the world’s first space line. Virgin Galactic will own and operate its privately built spaceships modeled on the remarkable, history-making SpaceShipOne. Virgin’s vast experience in aviation, adventure, luxury travel and cutting-edge design combined with the unique technology developed by Burt Rutan will ensure an unforgettable experience unlike any other available to mankind. With safety at the forefront, Virgin Galactic’s unique spacecraft is being designed at Rutan’s base in Mojave, California alongside a concerted research and development program.
Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) is an independent authority of the State of Virginia with a charter to support within the Commonwealth space-related business, economic development, and STEM education. In that, its current focus is on development and operation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) to support both Federal and Commercial Space Launch. MARS is launching cargo resupply missions to the ISS, in support of the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract Orbital Sciences Corporation has with NASA. VCSFA is launching cargo resupply missions to the ISS from MARS Pad 0A, in support of the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract Orbital Sciences Corporation has with NASA, and launching missions to orbit from MARS Pad 0B for the Department of Defense and NASA.
World View Enterprises, Inc. is pioneering a new frontier at the edge of space. Their vision is to take Voyagers (be they private individuals or those traveling for research, educational or other scientific pursuits) on the journey of a lifetime. With their proprietary high-altitude balloons, World View offers an accessible, affordable way to access near space. World View is now offering unmanned platforms and currently developing a manned capsule to access the space frontier.
XCOR Aerospace is focused on the research, development, and production of safe, reliable, reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), rocket engines and rocket propulsion systems. It is now in the phased development of its next generation vehicle, the reusable launch vehicle Lynx. Lynx is a suborbital vehicle that will carry one pilot, a ticketed passenger, and/or a payload or small satellites above 100 km in altitude.
AECOM is built to deliver a better world; they are the world’s #1-ranked engineering design firm by revenue, according to Engineering News-Record magazine. They design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations worldwide. As a fully integrated firm, they connect knowledge and experience across their global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings, ports, roads, airports, spaceports and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, their work is transformative, differentiated and vital. AECOM has offices throughout the United States and their clients include NASA, USAF, DoD, FAA, SpaceX, Space Florida, New Mexico Spaceport Authority, and thousands of others.
Analytical Graphics, Inc. of Exton, Pennsylvania provides commercial software for designing, developing and operating missions within the space and national defense communities. AGI software models the terrestrial environment, the surrounding space and time using the best algorithms available for unprecedented spatial and temporal precision. Its world-class experts meld industry-proven techniques with AGI patented algorithms to provide highly accurate and consistent results across our broad range of application areas and operational implementations.
Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) is an independent corporation established by the State of Alaska to develop space-related economic growth in Alaska. AAC operates the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC), a modern, state-of-the-industry rocket launch facility designed to launch payloads into polar, Sun-synchronous, and highly elliptical orbits. KLC is an FAA-licensed, commercially-oriented launch facility separate from the Federal and DoD launch ranges. KLC provides schedule assurance, an experienced launch team, modern GPS-based metric tracking, and rocket motor processing, handling, and storage facilities that support responsive launch capabilities.
ARES Corporation is one of the foremost engineering, project management, safety and mission assurance, and information technology solutions companies in the United States. With a top-notch team of engineers, scientists, and other professionals, ARES focuses on solving industry’s most complex technical challenges in the key areas of space, defense, energy, and infrastructure. ARES has supported the commercial space industry since 2006, leveraging its extensive knowledge of the first destination of Government procured commercial space services, the International Space Station, and its intimate knowledge of NASA’s safety approval process to provide key insights to providers of commercial spaceflight services. ARES has provided systems engineering, software engineering and vehicle integration services in support of integration and test efforts and performed specialized probabilistic risk/safety assessments for various commercial space companies, and provided support to University nanosat programs, including integration and testing of cubesats, p-pods and other payloads.
ASRC Federal Space and Defense brings a 14-year history of delivering high-performance space systems engineering, integration and satellite operations services to civil and defense agencies. ASRC Federal provides these services throughout all phases of the program life cycle and across the entire space systems architecture, including space and ground assets.
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long and proud history of research in space. Through initiatives such as the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Biodesign Institute, ASU conducts a wide variety of astrophysics, biological and biomedical, planetary science studies, and instrument design projects in conjunction with NASA and a broadening spectrum of commercial partners.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Barrios Technology is an aerospace engineering and technology services firm. Barrios specializes in engineering, space mission operations, systems engineering and integration, and technical assistance for the space industry. From planning to on-orbit support to post-flight analysis, Barrios supports all phases of space mission operations.
BRPH is an international architecture and engineering design and construction services firm with a staff of more than 230 professionals in multiple offices. BRPH is a recognized leader in planning, design, engineering, and construction in a wide range of project types including municipal and federal government, commercial/industrial, education, aviation, and aerospace. BRPH’s aerospace team has provided design services on every major launch pad in the United States.
In 2011, NASA chose the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to be the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The mission of CASIS is to maximize use of this unparalleled platform for innovation, which can benefit all humankind and inspire a new generation to look to the stars. The organization has been awarded by NASA the responsibility of inciting the imagination of entrepreneurs and scientists alike, accelerating and facilitating space-based research as well as creating public awareness of National Lab research and making space science more accessible to the world.
The Colorado Space Coalition (CSC) is a group of industry stakeholders working to make Colorado center of excellence for commercial, civil, and military space activity. The CSE focuses its efforts in two key areas: Marketing and promoting Colorado significant space assets and advancing legislation vital to the industry’s growth and success by providing a platform for legislative advocacy is Colorado’s congressional delegation. The CSC actively supports key Colorado programs such as SNC’s Dreamchaser and ULA Launch Services, plus other commercial interests such as the Center of Excellence for Commercial S through marketing efforts and legislative advocacy. The CSC is also one of the principal supporters of plans to develop spaceport Colorado in state economic development efforts to attract commercial spaceflight companies to Colorado. It is staffed by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.
David Clark Company has pioneered air and space crew protective equipment design, development and manufacture since 1941, with products ranging from anti-G suits to space suits. David Clark Company’s tradition of providing crew protective equipment for leading edge, manned aerospace programs continues into the future, as their designers apply their expertise to present and foreseeable needs, particularly in the areas of acceleration and high-altitude protection. They remain dedicated to expanding performance of our aerospace crew protective equipment, thereby enabling continued expansion of the manned-flight envelope.
DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of high-resolution Earth-imagery products and services. Sourced from their own advanced satellite constellation, their imagery solutions support a wide variety of uses within defense and intelligence, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, Internet portals, and navigation technology.
ETC’s NASTAR Center houses state-of-the-art equipment and professional staff to support the training and research needs of the aerospace community, including military aviation (fixed and rotary wing), civil aviation (fixed and rotary wing), space travel (government and private) and research support and data collection. NASTAR Center’s equipment and programs are highly modular and flexible and can accommodate a wide range of aerospace training and research requirements.
Golden Spike plans to provide complete, turn-key commercial human lunar expeditions to countries, corporations, and individuals. The company is conducting lunar architecture and systems design studies with leading aerospace companies, and will be taking flight reservations and entering into vehicle development and flight contracts in the near future.
Formed in 1997 by Gwen Griffin, Griffin Communications Group now has an award-winning team of communications specialists. Their primary objective – to exceed client expectations in terms of quality, value and results. Led by highly respected aerospace veterans – Gwen Griffin, President & CEO, and Jeff Carr, VP Aerospace Communications – their team has decades of industry-specific communications and branding experience. They have a pulse on global aerospace marketing and communications trends and a proven ability to generate cost-effective programs and bottom-line results for our clients.
The Heinlein Prize honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, a renowned American author. The purpose of the Henlein Prize is to encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities that advances Robert and his wife Virginia’s dream of humanity’s future in space. A snapshot of the Trust’s activities includes: awarding the Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities, the Microgravity Research Competition, the Heinlein Commercial Space Activity Prize, the “Flight Into the Future” international contests in Europe and Asia, and Have Space Suit – Will Travel educational program, and the Heinlein archives.
Houston Airport System provides a safe and dynamic air services network that fosters economic vitality for the transportation industry and the greater Houston region. The Houston Airport System has a mission of helping to ensure that its employment, services, and facilities are accessible to the public, customers, and travelers. The Houston Airport System is actively seeking a commercial spaceport license for Ellington Airport in Houston, TX
InterFlight Global is engaged in air and space transportation consultancy, advisory, brokerage and financial services. Since 2004, the company has been actively pursuing these activities in the commercial space transportation industry. Their core areas of expertise are economic business, financial and operational development for its clients, which include private, public, government and NGO entities, mostly in the Americas and EU.
International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) is a nonprofit independently run event whose speakers capture the growth and diversification of the global commercial space industry in the form of short powerful talks that began in 2005. Today, the impact of the commercial space industry exceeds all expectations. Its contractors, suppliers, government partners and entrepreneurs demonstrate broad, tangible added value to investors and taxpayers that creates demand for new space tech products and services that grow new markets.
Jacobs Technology is the advanced technology division of Jacobs Engineering, one of the nation’s largest engineering and technical services-only companies. Their clients include the DOD, NASA, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the DOE, and dozens of commercial clients, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Saturn.
As one of the country’s premier design consulting firms, Kimley-Horn applies creativity and rigor to deliver outstanding results. Whether your business is national or local, and whether your projects involve public infrastructure or private development, we seek to save you money and reduce your risk. Our engineers, planners, and environmental scientists work within your vision and your organization, bringing a sense of urgency, an above and beyond mindset, and creative yet practical solutions to help you achieve your goals.
Founded in 2010 with the goal of enabling humanity’s future in space, Made In Space, Inc. has developed additive manufacturing technology for use in the space environment. By manufacturing space assets in space, as opposed to launching them from Earth, the company plans to accelerate and broaden space development while also providing unprecedented access for people on Earth to use in-space capabilities. Made In Space’s team consists of successful entrepreneurs, experienced space experts and key 3D printing developers. With over 30,000 hours of 3D printing technology testing, and 400+ parabolas of microgravity test flights, Made In Space’s experience and expertise with regard to 3D printing in zero-gravity is unmatched, and has led to the first 3D printers designed for use on the International Space Station.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) was incorporated in 1969 by two British Columbia entrepreneurs, John MacDonald, and Werner Dettwiler with the objective of providing innovative electronic solutions for complex customer requirements. Over the past four decades MDA has created a highly skilled organization that provides advanced information solutions which capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.
NanoRacks is proudly democratizing the utilization of the low-earth orbit region of space. They are an entrepreneurial company that was the first to market its own hardware and services onboard the International Space Station. By providing a commercial pathway to using the Space Station, they have helped usher in a new chapter of the space frontier: making space just another place to do business.
ORBITEC is a leading subsystems integrator and high technology development company based in Madison, Wisconsin. ORBITEC offers commercially mature solutions and strong capabilities in six distinct areas: Propulsion Systems; Human Systems; Automated Science Operations and Systems; BioProducts and BioProduction Systems; Space Resource Utilization; and Fire Suppression Systems.
Paragon is a premier provider of environmental controls for extreme and hazardous environments. They design, build, test and operate premier life support systems and leading thermal control products for astronauts, contaminated water divers, and other extreme environment adventurers, as well as for unmanned space and terrestrial applications.
Space Systems Initiative (SSI) is a new organization within Penn State that serves the space industry, through research and education. SSI Penn State is pursuing the Google Lunar X PRIZE as its first mission, demonstrating that low-cost system development and mission execution is possible through a new business model, which has been named uSpace. The uSpace model combines university resources, philanthropy, corporate sponsorship, industry partnership, and strategic government corporations. Its activities include Lunar mission development and execution, through the Lunar Lions team, propulsion system fabrication and testing, cross-disciplinary space industry workforce development, and system development for space diving and EVAs.
Planet Labs creates commercial and humanitarian value with the market’s most capable global imaging network. Fresh data from any place on Earth is foundational to solving commercial, environmental, and humanitarian challenges. Our global sensing and analytics platform unlocks the ability to understand and respond to change at a local and global scale.
QinetiQ North America’s offerings range from software development to systems engineering, from mission-level engineering to enterprise-wide IT support, and from cyber security to cyber mission assurance. In aerospace, services include systems engineering, integration and fielding for aerospace, software safety engineering, independent verification and validation for evolved expendable launch vehicles, engineering and verification services to various spaceflight companies, and engineering services for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Qwaltec focuses on Systems Engineering, Mission Readiness, Technical Training, and Program Management solutions for a variety of government and commercial space programs including NASA, DoD, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and commercial customers.
RS&H is a facilities and infrastructure consulting firm with more than 60 years of aerospace experience, as RS&H has completed hundreds of projects for the Saturn/Apollo program, Space Shuttle Program, NASA’s exploration initiatives, Private Spaceports in Florida, the Central US, Wallops Island, VA, Australia, and numerous military launch facilities. We provide a range of services including the design of launch support facilities, specialized structures, ground support equipment, oxidizer and propellant storage and transfer systems, and high and low pressure gas systems. Offices are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington DC.
S3 USA Holdings, Inc. is the US division of Swiss Space Systems Holdings, SA. The Swiss company was founded in Payerne and combines and supervises the activities of its affiliate companies in Switzerland, Spain, Croatia, and the US. The objective of the S3 group is to develop, build, certify, and operate suborbital shuttles for the deployment of satellites up to 250 kg., and for future human point-to-point suborbital transportation.
Scaled Composites, LLC is an aerospace and specialty composites development company located in Mojave, California. Founded in 1982 by Burt Rutan, Scaled Composites has broad experience in air vehicle design, tooling and manufacturing, specialty composite structure design, analysis and fabrication, and developmental flight tests of air and space vehicles.
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs, and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts.
The Space Coast Spaceflight Alliance is a non-profit alliance comprised of the Space Coast Regional Airport (a Florida Spaceport Territory), the City of Titusville, and the Space Coast Economic Development Commission. Our mission is the advancement of spaceflight in the Greater Titusville area on Florida’s Space Coast. Its primary activities are to: advance commercial spaceflight on Florida’s Space Coast; educate, inform and engage the community with respect to the commercial spaceflight industries’ needs, trends and opportunities; support the FAA spaceport application for the Space Coast Regional Airport; promote opportunities to attract and retain commercial spaceflight providers to the area; promote the Space Coast Regional Airport, designated by the Florida legislature as a Florida Spaceport Territory, as a regional and international commercial spaceport; provide and coordinate incentive funds and workforce needs for new, relocating and existing aerospace, aviation and manufacturing companies; and provide marketing, recruitment and site selection activities and legislative and policy advocacy.
Spaceflight is a one-stop shop that rapidly manifests, certifies and integrates secondary payloads on a suite of established and emerging launch and space transportation vehicles. Published commercial pricing reduces project planning and budgeting risks, and having a single point of contact simplifies integration efforts by enabling customers to plan to standardized processes while retaining access to multiple launch opportunities. Spaceflight has launch contracts to fly secondary payloads on several launch vehicles.
Spaceport Sweden, Europe’s gateway to space, initiated in 2007 with the mission to offer unique world-class space adventures under the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun, further supplying launch infrastructure, R&D facilities and high-tech expertise to academia and commercial space operators.
Operating from the hub of Space Technology – NASA’s Johnson Space Center Campus in Houston, Texas – Waypoint 2 Space has assembled a team of industry experts, comprised of former NASA and military personnel, and partnered with leading aerospace companies to develop the most comprehensive instructional space training programs available. These completely immersive, safety focused commercial spaceflight participant training programs are designed to meet (and in some cases exceed) the needs of emerging Sub-Orbital and Orbital Commercial Spaceflight Service Providers. In addition, Waypoint 2 Space, through collaboration with commercial and government organizations, is developing new technologies and training techniques to benefit aerospace programs across the globe, while providing numerous research and development opportunities to the scientific community at large.