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The Future Of Space Exploration: Ohio's Role In New Space Research

 Larry Connor from the Space Forum on Tuesday speaking over Zoom
Screen Capture
Larry Connor from the Space Forum on Tuesday speaking over Zoom

The second annual Ohio Space Forum was held virtually on Tuesday this past week. Representatives from Ohio’s legislative, business, military and academic sectors joined to discuss the state’s future role in space research and exploration.

Ohio State Representative Adam Holmes is the Chairman of the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee. He says Ohio has been leveraging its assets at all levels to become a leader in space tech.

“The federal contingent that’s been involved in this along with the governor’s office, along with JobsOhio, along with the state assembly of representatives," said Holmes, "That’s a unity of effort that you’re not gonna find anywhere else in the United States.”

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said at the forum that Ohio is an ideal location for the federal government to invest in aerospace research and development.

“That research is critical infrastructure. It allows us to develop the technologies to position us to lead in the industries of the future,” said Senator Brown.

The forum participants expect the importance of Ohio’s role in space to continue growing.

Next February, Dayton entrepreneur Larry Connor will pilot a shuttle to the International Space Station. It will be the first fully private mission to the station.

Connor and three others will spend eight days at the station as part of the company Axiom Space’s first mission. They’ll spend time at the station working on medical research.

At the Ohio Space Forum this week, Connor said he believes the future of space exploration depends heavily on private investment.

"NASA’s done a phenomenal job but it takes private companies like SpaceX and private individuals like myself to really propel this next great frontier forward,” said Connor.

Last month, Connor performed another adventurous feat as he took a submarine to three of the deepest parts of the ocean. He’ll become only the second Ohioan to travel to both the bottom of the ocean and into space.