May 10, 2023

How We Celebrated National Space Day in Colorado Springs

Interior of an aerospace manufacturing facility.

With Colorado having the second largest space economy in the U.S. and Colorado Springs being home to the National Cybersecurity Center, Space ISAC, and a unique concentration of military bases and commands, it’s no wonder the Pikes Peak region celebrates National Space Day with such verve.  

Last month, the Space Symposium provided an opportunity for national cybersecurity organizations, space agencies, and commercial businesses and others within the global space community to spark dialog around critical space issues. Close to 10,000 attend the event every year. 

As we look back on our commemoration of National Space Day in Colorado Springs this past week, we’re examining the many ways the aerospace and defense industry continues to contribute to Colorado Springs’ economy and success of the region’s businesses. 

A Readymade Aerospace & Defense Ecosystem  

Colorado Springs’ aerospace and defense industry has a $7 billion annual economic impact on the Pikes Peak region, or more than 44% of the region’s overall economic activity. Approximately 111,000 local jobs are supported by the aerospace & defense industry. 

Five military installations, five national security agency certified colleges, and a large population of over 80,000 former service members have established Colorado Springs as a hub for talented aerospace & defense talent. The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC’s Military Affair Council (MAC) also plays a crucial role in supporting the industry, advocating for the needs of the military community and promoting the region as a premier destination for aerospace and defense businesses.  

Aerospace & defense companies are supported by an abundance of networking events, talent, and collaborative communities. The Space Symposium has been held in Colorado Springs every April for almost four decades — giving businesses opportunities to network with influential leaders in the region and participate in panel discussions. 

But the synergy for aerospace companies in Colorado Springs extends beyond annual events, with collaborative communities like Catalyst Campus offering an environment where public-private partnerships, venture capital, research and academic institutions can work together on cutting edge developments.  

Companies looking for specialized skills in aerospace and defense can find it in Colorado Springs as well. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is one of five Colorado Springs Colleges for cleared talent, and the university’s College of Engineering is home to the Center for Laser, Energy, and Exploration Research (CLEER), which gives students hands-on training in heat transfer, propulsion, and rarified gas dynamics.  

Successful Space Businesses in Colorado Springs  

More than 290 aerospace and defense organizations and over 500 companies are in Colorado Springs — a number that is consistently growing. In fact, veteran owned defense startup Nooks announced that it would be opening it third and largest national location in Colorado Springs at last month’s Space Symposium. The new 60,000 square-foot facility will be located near UCCS and will generate 35 jobs in the region. 

Another veteran-owned defense company reaping the benefits of Colorado Springs’ space economy is Delta Solutions & Strategies. The firm was selected as Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year for 2023 by the U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to being recognized as a Best Workplace by the Gazette several years running. 

Delta Solutions currently manages 46 contracts with a valuation of over $370 million. One of the firm’s largest contracts came in 2022 when the company was awarded a comprehensive professional management services contract with US Space Command. The $187 million, 5-year contract was the largest defense contract awarded to a Colorado Springs-based company in 2022 and led to the hiring of 315 employees and over 150 subcontractors. The company reached an annual revenue of $80 million in 2022.  

National Space Day in Colorado Springs is just one aspect that supports a thriving community for aerospace & defense businesses in the Pikes Peak region. Contact us to learn about the many collaborative communities, resources, and how your company can become a part of the region.