Space X president visits Wichita as Air Capital aims for space work

The Air Capital continues to aim for space as the president and COO of Space X visited Wichita.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 7:26 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Air Capital continues to aim for space as the president and COO of Space X visited Wichita. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R) Kansas was also in Wichita for that visit on Tuesday, wanting Kansans to get more federal defense and private sector space work.

Speaking to members of Wichita’s workforce, Space X President and COO Gwynne Shotwell shared milestones of the rocket and spacecraft manufacturing company founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

“We had an extraordinary year last year. We flew 61 times. It’s the most that any rocket has ever flown in history in a year,” Shotwell said. “And this year, we have a daunting 100 missions that we would like to get done. So, we’re going to fly Falcon a bunch of times this year, but Starlink satellites in orbit to help serve communities.”

In a place that showcases Wichita’s aviation history, it was all about advancing its future at the B-29 Doc Hangar.

“Based upon it’s talent, capital investments we’ve made and also the innovative, highly skilled supply chain that we have, we are purposely driving economic initiatives that position us for opportunities such as today,” said Greater Wichita Partnership President Jeff Fluhr.

The Greater Wichita Partnership joined Moran in hosting Space X in the city known as The Air Capital of the World.

“None of our guests would come and they certainly would never return if it wasn’t for the fact that here in Kansas, we have that workforce. We have the education and training capabilities and we have companies and entrepreneurs who make things happen,” Moran said.

Doing business with Space X was the core of Tuesday’s visit from its president.

“We want to know what your capabilities are. As soon as we get Starship to orbit, we will be ramping production pretty dramatically and Starship will be the spaceship that flies the most,” Shotwell said.

Moran said visits like Shotwell’s to Wichita are crucial to showcase and highlight the assets of Kansas. He said those include the manufacturing process, the talent and workforce, plus institutions like Wichita State University and the National Institute for Aviation Research.