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Commercial space is an emerging sector that will become a central part of tomorrow’s economy in the U.S. and the world.

  • In the past 39 years, the cost of launching a payload into low earth orbit has decreased to only 1% of the cost from 1981 (see graphic).


  • Morgan Stanley estimates that the global commercial space economy could reach 
    $1 trillion by 2040, up from $350 billion today.


  • Venture capital investment in SpaceTech has grown at 30% CAGR, topping $16B in 2020 (Space Capital).

The Keystone Space Collaborative (KSC) was incorporated in 2021 as a non-profit organization with a mission to become the tri-state region’s - Pennsylvania/Ohio/West Virginia - principal space organization committed to attracting, growing, and amplifying the next generation of space industry businesses and talent in the region. Our success will ensure the unprecedented commercial space growth both impacts and is impacted by the region. 

Image by NASA


Pittsburgh, our State and the Tri-State Region bring unique strengths that are under-developed in the commercial space sector.

  • A legacy in supporting space exploration – Pittsburgh and our overall region boast a long history of contributions to the US space industry.

  • Industrial technology strengths – Our region has deep expertise in relevant areas including advanced manufacturing & materials, robotics and life sciences, which can benefit from and contribute to zero-gravity manufacturing.

  • Premier academic institutions – Tri-state boasts 17 research universities that conduct research relevant to commercial space.

  • Central location and proximity – Our proximity to Washington D.C. as well as national space and aerospace innovation and research centers is a key advantage.

Image by Shot by Cerqueira


  • Pittsburgh and the region made key contributions to the Apollo Program.

  • USN&WR ranks Ohio State University, Univ. of Michigan, and Penn State University among the nation’s top ‘space science’ schools.  

  • NASA awarded $176M to 31 entities in the Pittsburgh region in 2018-20.

  • Air Force awarded $147M to 73 entities in Pittsburgh region 2018-20.

  • Ansys Q4 acquisition of AGI for $700M demonstrates space/defense focus.

  • Local robotics company, Astrobotic, has been awarded over $200M since 2000.