By Tara Clark, Vice President of Operations and Commercial Programs, Draper, and Kendall Square Association board member.

In the 1960s, the first humans landed on the Moon guided by technology from Kendall Square company Draper. We were an MIT lab then, eventually spun out in 1973 as an independent nonprofit. Once again landing on the moon is a goal for the U.S. space program, and once again Draper is hard at work to make that happen.

You may have seen Draper at work last summer. NASA launched Artemis I on a mission that orbited the moon. The dramatic splashdown in the ocean waters near San Diego made the news. Fun fact: no astronauts were on board, and much of the mission was steered by autonomous technology, some of it from Draper. The goal of Artemis is to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. The long- game is to build habitats on the Moon, giving humanity a new world to explore in ways beyond a footprints and flags mission. Since Apollo, space tech has advanced quite a bit, ushering in a new era of innovation for NASA and its partners, like Draper.

As a Kendall Square company from way back, Draper is excited about the future of space exploration, and we hope you are too. Innovation is in our collective DNA, and this adds a new chapter to Kendall Square’s history. Keep your eyes on the skies. You may just see a little bit of Kendall Square headed to the stars.