Aerospace Day 2019!

Aerospace Day 2019(2)

The 6th annual Colorado Aerospace Day was held at the Colorado State Capital on March 11, 2019. And I had a blast! The majority of the day was talking to fellow nerds. Booths were set up by big name companies and small firms alike, all interested in aerospace. There were also a lot of college programs present as well. Everyone had the overarching goal of getting others excited about aerospace. I loved networking and hearing about all the cool stuff that is going on in the industry. Remind me to do a post about Lucy… the amazing deep space program that Lockheed Martin is working on.

Back on topic! We had a brief amount of time with all the legislators and Governor Polis even stopped by for 15 minutes. I got to talk to a representative who was an aerospace engineer before his political career. It was really interesting to talk to him. We got a picture with everyone there (see below) and I got to be in front on account of my recent foot surgery. I guess there were some perks to such an annoying recovery time.

We then had a panel of five higher ups in the aerospace industry to discuss the importance of National Security in space. It was incredibly insightful to hear what the big guys are talking about. I think the topic that really caught my interest was how to handle the clearance process. It takes so long for even young college hires to get a security clearance and many of us are so over excited to go out and make a difference in the world, that nobody wants to be stuck waiting for a year to a year and a half. One point made was that all of the good talent is disappearing to industries that don’t require clearances and often times this includes moving out of state to do so. That means not only is the aerospace industry losing out on talent, but Colorado as a state is suffering as well. Because of where I am in my career, this resonated loudly to me. I believe we need to consider quickening the process (interims help with this), focus on keeping this young talent with other, equally meaningful projects and trainings, and really determining what is considered a national security issue or person of interest. Now I don’t know enough about the process to say exactly how to do this, but these were some ideas raised by the panel. They also discussed what would happen if Colorado is chosen as the home state to Space Command. And to me, that just makes sense. Between the multiple college programs, the growing industry, the military presences, and finally, the public excitement, we can really make a difference!

I am so excited to share this experience with you all. It was a truly amazing time and I met so many unique people. I talked to aerospace journalists, college students trying to figure out what to do after graduation, and leaders in the aerospace industry. I talked to large scale mission workers and small manufacturing and material companies that want to bring their talent to space. I talked to college professors and museum representatives. I highly recommend going next year (don’t worry I will let you know when to start getting excited). Even if you don’t know space, this is the place to start.

Quick thanks to Joe Rice and Stacey DeFore (picture below) putting this on and including me in so much of their conversations. They really care about everyone, even the small guys who are just starting out like me.

Aerospace Day 2019 got me all fired up about changing the industry again! We have so much to do and so little time… but more than enough space!

What do you all think? Where do we need to focus Colorado’s funding to help the Aerospace Industry?

6 thoughts on “Aerospace Day 2019!”

  1. So if Colorado is chosen as Space Command what does that mean or your best guess for launches? Would they still be launched from Cape Canaveral or like the recent Soyez MS12 out of Kazakhstan and monitored from here (Colorado) or would we also see launches taking place in Colorado or completely different launches being monitored from here? Also going back to what you talked about for the long time it takes to gain clearance, would Space Command in Colorado help alleviate alot of that time frame since partnerships between schools could be made (like internships, work study opportunities) for Colorado graduates, or I guess a better question would be do you think that could possibly help? All in all I guess what other benefits could we see if this was to happen? I know I am interested in what could be!

    1. GREAT questions! Maybe I should do another blog about this topic! So this is what I know on the subject:
      Colorado is a (and has been) a hot spot for both space and military. So it really just makes sense to put space military here. The biggest thing is it would help the economy and promote aerospace jobs (both government and private here). What you said about security clearances is entirely possible For two reasons: private companies would be more likely to settle here and more people coming out of the military could already have their clearance AND have a space background.
      In terms of launches I don’t know about if there are plans to build a launch pad here. Personally I don’t think we would want one here. Between the space needed, the noise, the regulations… it seems like a lot. It is possible but for now I think we should stick with what we got in other major space states. Plus Colorado does have space ports that are for horizontal launch vehicles (i.e. aircrafts carrying spacecrafts to help with orbit) rather than the vertical launch vehicles that we are so use to. So we have potential but a full blown launch pad might not be our #1 concern.
      Hope this helps! And this is a huge IF considering Colorado is only a candidate right now.

      1. Based off what you said I feel like we should be more than a candidate really… between what we already have and the opportunity for fresh new minds to have a jump start here seems to be a big selling point. As for a launch pad… yeah that makes a lot of sense, but could there be a way to recomission some of the old missile silos we have littered around (ya know without looking like we are launching missiles from them) or would sticking with the horizontal take offs could that be a big stepping point for development of horizontal lift offs for larger payloads?

        1. To me vertical launches are more efficient but primarily for disposable vehicles (which we are already making strides for reusable rockets) but horizontal is more for reusable vehicles and have a whole other level of issues and capabilities (i.e. rotation of the vehicle). Maybe I will do some more research and see what all goes into both and what it means for the industry!

  2. Colorado is not a good location for vertical launches. The ideal location is the equator because the earth rotates faster there so you already have an added boost. That’s why Cape Canaveral was chosen – that and because it’s over water. Rockets shed pieces during launch to rid themselves of the extra weight once it’s no longer needed. Launches from CA are typically going into some sort of polar orbit (think spy satellites because they get full coverage of the earth). From CA they can launch south over the ocean.
    But it would be really cool if we ever did launch from here!

    1. Really great points Joy! And very interesting… Rotation is important as is not crushing the average citizen with falling space debris!

Comments are closed.