National Space Day is an annual celebration of outer space held on the first Friday in May, initiated by the Lockheed Martin Corporation in 1997. Since then, the event has expanded internationally, encouraging curiosity in space and promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in schools throughout the world.
The aerospace industry in Colorado expanded by more than 30% between 2016-2017, which is 12% above the national average. This is due in part to several military bases being based in the state, including Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora. In Colorado Springs there are five military installations, several command stations, and national defense centers. The aerospace and defense industry generates $7 billion in annual economic impact.
Courtesy of Denver Metro EDC
Another Successful Space Symposium in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs’ Space Foundation recently hosted its 37th Annual Space Symposium in the city, promoting conversation about issues critical to space defense. The Chamber & EDC and Space ISAC were present at the event to speak to upcoming talent, connect with aerospace and defense companies and promote Colorado Springs as the best location for Space Command.
Also in attendance were Mayor Suthers and Governor Jared Polis to affirm Colorado’s strong aerospace economy.
“Colorado Springs continues to attract major defense contractors and aerospace companies,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers in an interview with the Colorado Springs Business Journal. “Given our military installations and heavy concentration of intelligence professionals, we do not expect this to slow.”
Colorado has been petitioning to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs, citing the region as the most confident choice to keep costs low and facilitate cooperation among mission stakeholders.
Companies and Talent Choose Colorado Springs
Due in part to the strong presence of defense operations, Colorado offers solid ground for aerospace leaders and employers to live, run a business, and educate their kids. Collaboration is normal in Colorado, and many aerospace companies choose to do business in the state because of the proximity to each other and to defense missions. The dynamic environment also draws talent and spurs innovative university research.
Here are a few of the aerospace & defense companies and initiatives that create a thriving industry in Colorado Springs:
— A nationwide search led PetroDynamics to select Colorado Springs for its new R&D headquarters. The next-generation developer of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft plans to add more than 180 jobs, benefiting from Colorado Springs’ world-class engineering talent.
— Founded in Colorado Springs in 2018, Bluestaq is an emerging technology company and government contractor that builds highly secure software for data management, engineering, and analysis. In 2021 Bluestaq received a two-year, $280 million extension to its data integration contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) for U.S. Space Force and Missile Systems Center Data Management Office.
The company will soon triple the size of its facilities in Colorado Springs, hiring up to 585 full-time employees with average annual salaries at more than $190,000. Bluestaq’s growth also prompted the launch of Find Your COS, a suite of talent initiatives that will benefit both the aerospace and defense industry and the broader business community.
— In consideration of Colorado Springs’ growing aerospace & defense industry, a new 210,000-square-foot speculative project began construction in 2021 at the Pikes Peak Innovation Park near the Colorado Springs Airport. The Peak Technology Campus is being managed by Flywheel Capital, LLC and will include four single-story office buildings with multitenant configurations and loading docks.
— Also on site at the Pikes Peak Innovation Park is Aerospace Corporation. The company announced a $100 million, 90,000-square-foot expansion in 2020, which will accommodate a state-of-the-art R&D facility with 70% classified space to meet the developing specifications of service operations like U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs.
The project is expected to be completed in 2023 and will advance the nation’s security in space with increased capabilities and technical expertise. Aerospace’s new facility will accommodate an additional 200 technical employees.
The national space services in Colorado make aerospace and defense companies essential to Colorado Springs. Explore the region’s military installations and aerospace & defense companies and contact us to learn how to grow your business in the Pikes Peak region.