By Stan Bush
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado is hoping to raise the bar of the massive space industry in the metro area by recognizing how big it actually is.
Monday was recognized as Aerospace Day at the State Capital where dozens of small to large companies directly involved with or related to aerospace where able to show off their products. However, companies are using the entire week to expand their outreach.
Colorado is home to some of the biggest players in the space industry like Sierra Nevada Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and Ball Aerospace.
Those companies are all responsible for some of the most recognizable achievements in the space program like rocket boosters, heat shields, and the capsule for the recent Orion mission.
Small component companies also play a big role in the space program. The 3D Printing Store, based in Centennial is also connected to the industry. Designs made there could be tested and recreated in space.
“Anything that goes to space has a cost factor to it related to getting it to space,” says Debra Wilcox, owner of the 3-D Printing Store. “The lighter weight we can make things, the more valuable it is.”
Space engineers view products made at Colorado companies that orbit their industry as having tremendous possibility for NASA’s future missions, offering everything from emergency parts manufacturing to hospital triage.
“If we’re going to go to Mars, we have to think about those kind of things,” says Wilcox.