Scheduled for Friday, the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis will mark the end of an era for NASA, the United States, and manned spaceflight. But that’s not all.

The final Shuttle flight means that, at least for now, UTC Power’s long contribution to manned spaceflight also is coming to an end. The South Windsor company that designed and built the Shuttle’s fuel cells will no longer be maintaining the devices that power everything on the spacecraft. But the technology derived from spaceflight is now powering more down-to-earth applications like grocery stores and city buses.

UTC Power began operations in Connecticut in 1958 when the Advanced Power Systems Group at Pratt & Whitney decided to research new power generation methods. A bottom-up effort by engineers there convinced senior management at the time that a burgeoning spaceflight industry needed fuel cell technology.

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Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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