The Denver Post
COLORADO PROJECTS SOAR ONTO “BEST” LIST
A s 2017 nears its end, “best of” lists are beginning to roll out. And so far, Colorado’s aerospace industry has been flexing its muscles.
Three of the 10 “most incredible aerospace inventions” of the year, as decided by Popular Science, are projects with roots in Colorado: OSIRIS-REx, the GOES-16 weather satellite and Dream Chaser.
• NASA’s OSIRIS-REx — for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer—is an asteroid collecting spacecraft currently making its way to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that is 500 meters wide. OSIRIS-REx was designed and built by Jefferson County-based Lockheed Martin.
• GOES-16, also by Lockheed Martin, is especially relevant in light of the three devastating, backto-back-to-back hurricanes in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. The satellite, used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is five times faster than previous ones, scanning high-risk areas every 30 seconds, according to Popular Science.
• Dream Chaser is an autonomous ferry designed to deliver cargo to and from the international space station. It is expected to start shipping by 2020. The spacecraft is owned and operated by Sierra Nevada Space Systems in Louisville. Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics team in Fort Worth, Texas, helped build the composite structure of the spacecraft.