Thursday November 13, 2014 0 comments
DENVER - Colorado's aerospace industry will take center stage on Dec. 4 when the Orion crew module built by Littleton-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems is launched by Centennial-based United Launch Alliance.
On Wednesday, NASA rolled the Orion crew module to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the December launch of the spacecraft's first test flight aboard a ULA Delta IV Heavy launch rocket.
The test flight represents a huge step for the U.S. in returning to human spaceflight.
The uncrewed flight will take Orion to an altitude of about 3,600 miles above the Earth - more than 15 times farther than the International Space Station - before landing in the Pacific Ocean about four hours later.
Colorado will take to the airwaves and social media with a campaign called "The Next Giant Leap into Space Begins in Colorado" to shine a light on the state's aerospace economy.
"Colorado aerospace companies are at the forefront of space travel, exploration and research," said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
"By celebrating the leading role that our companies have played in the nation's return to human spaceflight with Orion, we also spread awareness of how this extremely high-tech, high-value sector benefits Colorado businesses and our economy."
Space projects in Colorado have contributed nearly 170,000 space-related jobs at more than 400 space-related companies.
"Colorado has been a world-class leader in space exploration and innovation since the founding of our industry and it continues to be a place where space businesses thrive," said Jim Crocker, VP and GM of civil space at Lockheed.
"This campaign not only showcases the important steps NASA is taking to push the boundaries of exploration, it also sends a message to the nation that our state continues to be at the cutting-edge of aerospace technology."