Colorado aerospace industry provides $15.4 billion economic impact


Colorado Springs, CO – April 17, 2018 – This week, space professionals, innovators, and entrepreneurs from around the world will come together at the 34rd Annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs to explore the future of the space industry.

Located one mile closer to space, Colorado's aerospace companies, education institutions, and state leadership are growing aerospace talent and capabilities as the state's aerospace industry continues to expand.  

Colorado’s aerospace industry contributes significantly to the state’s economic output and includes 180 aerospace companies and more than 500 companies and suppliers providing space-related products and services. Eight of the nation's leading aerospace contractors are headquartered in Colorado, along with major U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) facilities, NASA research and development activities, and top-ranked universities for aerospace. In fact, Colorado ranked No. 3 in NASA prime contract awards totaling $1.8 billion in 2016.

Collectively, these Colorado companies are leading the country's space projects and creating a strong ecosystem for startups, research, and training in the sector. Aerospace employment increased for the third consecutive year in 2017 and grew at its fastest pace since 2007, rising 4.7 percent between 2016 and 2017. In total, the 55,430 workers in the aerospace cluster support an additional 135,450 workers in all industries throughout Colorado, bringing direct and indirect employment supported by the aerospace cluster to 190,880 workers. That places Colorado as No. 1 in the nation for private-aerospace workers per capita. In total, Colorado’s aerospace industry generates $15.4 billion in total output each year.

Recent Colorado aerospace milestones:

  • Maxar Technologies, a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets, announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Westminster from San Francisco, adding 800 jobs.
  • United Launch Alliance (ULA), headquartered in Centennial, launched its Atlas V rocket carrying the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11 mission. This is the 77th launch of the Atlas V rocket, ULA’s 4th launch in 2018 and the 127th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
  • Three Colorado-based projects were named to Popular Science’s 2017 Top 10 Most Incredible Aerospace Inventions: OSIRIS-REx, the GOES weather satellite, and Dream Chaser.
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser will be on display at the 34th Space Symposium. It conducted a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test last November at Edwards Air Force Base, California, with the support of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Facility. The test fully demonstrated its in-flight and landing capabilities for future low-Earth orbit missions.

“Colorado’s aerospace industry is a shining star,” says J. J. Ament, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. “From startups and small businesses, to our prime contractors, to our education and workforce development efforts, there is no better place than Colorado for aerospace innovation and growth.”

To learn more about how Colorado is growing talent for its diverse space economy, visit the Colorado Space Coalition's website at

Learn more:

>>  2018-19 Colorado Aerospace Brochure

Media contactSam Bailey – Vice President of Economic Development, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., 303.620.8025.

About the Colorado Space Coalition
The Colorado Space Coalition (CSC) is a group of industry stakeholders working to make Colorado a center of excellence for aerospace. CSC members--including space companies, military leaders, academic organizations, research centers, and economic development groups--promote Colorado's significant space assets as well as advancing legislation vital to industry growth and success. The CSC is an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. To learn more, see and

About the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation 
The Metro Denver EDC is the nation’s first regional economic development organization and the largest privately funded economic development organization in Colorado. The Metro Denver EDC focuses on six areas to expand the economy in the nine-county region: national marketing, new and existing business, mobility, DEN/international air travel, tax reform and special opportunities. The organization also leads four industry-focused affiliates: the Colorado Energy Coalition, the Colorado Investment Services Coalition, the Colorado Space Coalition, and the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition. The Metro Denver EDC is affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. For more information, see or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To get involved visit us at, or email at