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LI business leader tells Bezos and Branson: Long Island has right stuff 

Long Island Association chief Matt Cohen sent an

Long Island Association chief Matt Cohen sent an open letter to Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, above, and to Elon Musk. Credit: AFP / Mandel Ngan, Don Emmert via Getty Images

The new Long Island Association chief has launched an open letter to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, seeking a dialogue about the region's untapped potential in developing space tourism.

LIA CEO and president Matthew Cohen issued the letter via a tweet last week, just days before Bezos' scheduled suborbital flight aboard a Blue Origin LLC rocket on Tuesday.

"I urge you to consider our vast manufacturing and research capabilities as you continue with your landmark efforts to make the last frontier a destination," he said.

Branson took his own suborbital ride on a Virgin Galactic craft earlier this month and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, plans to offer flights to the International Space Station as soon as January 2022.

The letter points out Long Island's rich aerospace history as the birthplace of the manned lunar module produced by Grumman Corp. and research now being conducted into the impact of cosmic radiation on humans at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

There was no response to the July 15 tweet.

In a telephone interview, Cohen, who succeeded Kevin Law at the helm of the LIA in May, said that he would continue to harness social media in promoting Long Island business.

"This is the way of the future," he said.

Grumman was acquired by Northrop Corp. in 1994. Still, Long Island remains home to civilian and military aerospace companies.

The region's space technology companies include: Hitemco, Comtech Telecommunications Corp., Frequency Electronics Inc. and Aeroflex, now integrated into Cobham Plc after a 2014 acquisition.

Launcher, a startup space company, has run tests on its 3D-printed rocket engines in Calverton.

In June, however, the company, which plans to provide launch services for a new generation of micro satellites, officially moved its headquarters from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Hawthorne, California.

Along with the move, in recent weeks the company said it had hired veterans of several space enterprises, including SpaceX and NASA.

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