Hundreds gather for first Maine Space Conference

  • November 7, 2023

The conference featured a wide range of participants, from rocket scientists to school teachers.

 6:44 PM EST November 6, 2023

PORTLAND, Maine — The National Space Grant Foundation was established in 1988 to improve and inspire work in that field.

But just within the last decade, Maine’s space industry has launched to new heights. Hundreds of people converged on a three-day gathering to talk about in-state advancements like heat shield construction and rocket launches, and also ask what’s next for inspired youth.


A sold-out crowd of 300 people attended the first-ever Maine Space Conference, beginning Sunday and running three days. Dozens of industry leaders took the stage to talk about what’s next for the industry in Maine.

NASA’s Mike Kincaid told the group, that while each state gets a space grant, Maine is involving people from every corner, and inspiring them unlike anyone else.

“Every state does have a space grant—they get about $900,000 a year,” Kincaid explained to NEWS CENTER Maine during Monday’s conference. “But what Maine’s doing is bringing together different entities that wouldn’t normally be in the same room; bringing together state governments, universities, K-12, nonprofits, and using NASA’s mission to bring students together and bring these systems together to really make a difference.”

A group of about nine protesters also gathered outside the conference. They told NEWS CENTER Maine they did not oppose a space industry in Maine… but were strongly against rocket launches in the state.