Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis




Stefano Tijerina

Committee Members

Andrew Crawley, Ivan Manev, Grant Miles, Terry Shehata

Graduation Year

May 2021

Publication Date

Spring 5-2021


This study seeks to discern Maine’s ability to attain competitive advantage in the emerging new space economy, and in addition suggest strategic measures that can be taken by Maine’s public and private leaders to maximize the potential growth and economic impact Maine’s emerging new space industry offers. The research question was originally “how can Maine position itself to become an aerospace hub?” but after learning more about the differences between “aerospace” and “new space,” the research question morphed into “how can Maine position itself to become a new space hub?” This was a qualitative study that featured nine semi-structured interviews with seven total participants who possessed backgrounds in the following fields: economic and business development, aerospace, manufacturing, and space consulting & procurement. The study used Michael Porter’s Diamond Model of national competitive advantage to sort and analyze findings from these interviews. The study found that Maine possesses several strengths including specialized aerospace launch infrastructure and potentially strong home customers but lacks in several key areas including Science, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education requirements and STEM workforce. Participants suggested that Maine build strong professional and academic connections within New England and beyond to supplement its STEM workforce and graduate pool, increase funding related to R&D, and bring its already specialized launch infrastructure up to speed to position itself as a polar-launching spaceport as soon as possible.