New neighborhood name just dropped — and it’s out of this world. Redmond is now known as the Redmond Space District after the Eastside city’s mayor Angela Birney issued an official proclamation. So if aliens ever make contact, they know where to go first.
The moniker refers to the area’s large aerospace industry, which has been growing steadily for more than five decades. Redmond claims to build more satellites than anywhere else in the world thanks to companies like Starlink, the SpaceX network that produces four out of every 10 satellites in operation. Wowza.
The final frontier
The Space District started with humble beginnings. Back in the late 1960s, Redmond was mostly farmland, but several engineers from Boeing who were involved in space-bound projects planted the seeds of something big. They founded the Rocket Research company that became Aerojet Rocketdyne.
You might recognize that name — the company has produced rockets and thrusters for every space mission over the past 50+ years, including Apollo 11. Though Aerojet Rocketdyne has headquarters and manufacturing facilities in California, its Redmond-built rockets also helped propel the Curiosity rover to Mars. Show offs.
Redmond took off from there, and became the home planet for other stargazing companies like:
- Project Kuiper | Amazon’s low Earth orbiting satellite network focusing on widespread broadband
- Triumph | Aerospace manufacturer and systems development
- Xplore | A local startup with ambitions to produce satellites for commercial, deep-space missions
Many of these companies are currently hiring, and Redmond has created a job board where you can find all the area’s aerospace industry openings in one place.
Time to celebrate? Xplore has suggested creating a Redmond Space District Day, which would involve collaborative events among companies like lectures and workforce development (co-founder Lisa Rich first coined the Space District term in 2021).
Learn more about how other spots in Washington earned their names at the Redmond Historical Society’s Speaker series on Saturday, April 8.