Since NASA’s Space Shuttle Program drew to a close late last month, there’s been a lot of discussion in the science and tech communities about next steps for the field of space exploration.
The program officially ended on July 21 when Shuttle Atlantis touched down at Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre – the 135th flight that started as an extraordinary dream 30 years ago.
Many have called the event “bittersweet” as the U.S. shifts its focus to Mars – an exciting, long-term goal, but one that leaves the country without manned spacecraft, effectively pushing some astronauts and scientists into early retirement.
So High Road was excited to hear that the shuttle’s grounding hasn’t lessened the high-flying future of Neptec Design Group, a prime NASA contractor.
The Ottawa-based company was clearly one to watch in the lead-up to Atlantis’s final flight, being sought out by a number of high-profile media outlets, including Canadian Press, CTV and the Montreal Gazette.
But Neptec proved its technology really is out of this world, announcing two major partnerships in recent weeks that will see its products still play a key role in space exploration:
- Neptec’s TriDAR docking system will be used on the capsules tasked with resupplying the International Space in a post-shuttle era.
- Neptec’s laser system will be an integral part of the Astro-H mission, which will see a telescopic satellite measure X-rays emitted from such objects as black holes and supernovae.
President Iain Christie spoke recently with Business Without Borders – a joint venture between Canadian Business and the Globe and Mail – about what it takes to stay successful in the rapidly changing space field.
“Our ability to make ourselves part of our customers’ teams and adopt their constraints, attitudes and goals is what keeps our customers coming back and staying very loyal to us,” Christie says of the 100-person firm. “A lot of large companies like the innovation they get from the small companies.”
Congrats Neptec! We can’t wait to see what’s waiting in the stars for you!