Edward Swallows, senior vice president of civil systems group with Aerospace Corp., hands Floyd E. Holt, deputy chief administrator of the Prince George's County executive's office, glass-enclosed "space junk" at Aerospace's grand opening in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Jan. 10. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Edward Swallows, senior vice president of civil systems group with Aerospace Corp., hands Floyd E. Holt, deputy chief administrator of the Prince George's County executive's office, glass-enclosed "space junk" at Aerospace's grand opening in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Jan. 10. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

A national research company that focuses on research and developments in outer space has relocated to Greenbelt.

The Aerospace Corp. joins other science and technology companies housed in the city in northern Prince George’s County that include NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Global Science & Technology Inc.

Aerospace, county and local officials attended a grand opening Thursday, Jan. 10 at the company’s office, which is slated to house 100 employees.

“It’s a number that is growing and that is a reason why we have come into this facility,” said Aerospace President and CEO Steve Isakowitz. “We’re seeing the demand for the kinds of the roles that we have.”

The nonprofit organization, which moved from Columbia in Howard County, labels itself as the only federally funded research and development center focused exclusively on space enterprise.

Isakowitz said the partial government shutdown hasn’t yet affected his company because it still has resources such as computer-operated facilities to continue research. However, he said, the quicker federal officials can pass appropriation bills and the president signs them, the less Aerospace has to worry about future funding.

“It’s measured in weeks, not in months,” he said of the ongoing shutdown. “Fortunately, we have a place like this. Even though federal facilities are closed down, they can come here. We have the computer facilities here … to continue to do some work as best we can.”

According the company’s website, it was established in 1960 and helps assists military and intelligence space programs.

It also provides research and analysis on how certain technology can affect daily lives.

For instance, engineers completed tests that used 3D cameras “to determine the position, speed and direction of the drone” also called “unmanned autonomous systems.” Last month, several unauthorized drones caused London’s Gatwick Airport to shut down for two days.

Aerospace also helps track and collect space debris, or “space junk,” such as meteors, asteroids and artificial particles that surface in the atmosphere space that can damage satellites and inhabited spacecraft.

The company’s Greenbelt location also looks to form partnerships with nearby Eleanor Roosevelt High School to boost its science and technology program.

“It just makes perfect sense that a technology company like this focused on optics and satellites and space would want to be right here in Greenbelt,” said Mayor Emmett Jordan. “This is another great asset having scientists right here near Roosevelt. I think [Aerospace] will fit right in.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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