The ribbon is cut, and the EDGE Space Innovation Center is open.
On Friday, defense and aerospace giant General Dynamics (NYSE: GD ) held the grand opening of its new EDGE center 2 miles from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., wherein NASA and other government workers will interact with more than 350 EDGE Innovation Network members from industry and academia.
For more than 40 years, GD has been a NASA partner. At the EDGE center, the company hopes to facilitate "the free-flow of ideas and solutions for next-generation spacecraft, scientific instruments, in-flight operations, and the critical ground systems that keep missions on course." In so doing, EDGE will help to promote private commercial solutions to space flight in an era of government budget cuts and pull back from government-centric efforts such as the now-defunct Space Shuttle.
GD shares responded positively to the development, and the potential for GD to take a more active role in, and perhaps a greater share of revenues from, private space exploration efforts. Shares of the company gained 0.6% in Friday trading, closing at $69.29.