BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Brownsville is heading along the right path at the right time to capitalize of the explosive growth in the ‘new space’ economy.

This is the view of Sidney Nakahodo, co-founder and CEO of New York Space Alliance. Nakahodo was one of a number of VIP speakers at the launch of the Expanding Frontiers nonprofit. The event took place at the historical Pan American building at Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport. 

The new nonprofit has been formed by Dr. Rick Jenet of UT-Rio Grande Valley and the City of Brownsville, to help spur economic activity in Space commercialization and exploration. One of the speakers at the event, Sean Casey of Silicon Valley Space Center, predicted the ‘new space’ economy would grow from $350 billion to $1 trillion in a very amount of time. 

With SpaceX anchoring Brownsville’s efforts to enter the Space race, Nakahodo was asked if the city was right to focus on the ‘new space’ economy.

“Right path, right time, this connection between the public sector, the private sector, the community, the students, that is what is going to create exciting opportunities for Brownsville to play an important role in the ‘new space’ world,” Nakahodo told the Rio Grande Guardian.

Nakahodo said New York Space Alliance stands ready to help Brownsville, as well as learn from the city.

“Rick (Jenet) invited us to speak here because what we are doing in New York can provide some lessons about how to start a ‘new space’ eco-system from scratch,” Nakahodo said.

“New York is known for a lot of things but definitely not for space activities. Unlike Texas and Brownsville, where you guys have a tradition in aviation. Now, with SpaceX coming here there is an opportunity to develop a lot of great things here in Brownsville. It is about exchanging information and developing this collaboration.”

Asked about Casey’s prediction that ‘new space’ will become a $1 trillion economy, Nakahodo said:

“It is just the beginning. What people do not realize is Space is not only about rockets, it is about a connection to the whole value chain that impacts our economy on this planet. Satellites and the big things we associate with Space are just the tip of the iceberg. 

“Nowadays we have GPS, we have meteorology, or weather forecasting, we have telecommunications. All of these depend on Space infrastructure. So, when we talk about this trillion dollar economy, I would say what is happening in Space is just a small fraction of what is going to be happening on Earth that depends on Space.”

Nakahodo added: “Space activity is growing exponentially. Maybe not you seeing how fast it is developing but at some point the growth is going to be explosive. We are getting there.”

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a five-part series on NewSpace Brownsville.