Boeing: from aviation to aerospace

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Colorado Springs is believed to have the highest concentration of military space organizations in the world, and the Boeing Company’s presence here fortifies that observation.

Aerospace giant Boeing is the largest spacecraft manufacturer in the world and is NASA’s largest contractor, and has a significant presence in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Denver.

Most recognize the name Boeing as a manufacturer of commercial aircraft, but it is obviously much more than that. In fact, Boeing is a state and nationwide leader in aviation and space technologies, with about 1,900 employees in Colorado. Additionally, it is a driving force in educational and civic activities in the state.

“Most people probably know us as a standard-bearer in the world of commercial aviation, but we’re a lot more,” said John Lorber, vice president for Boeing operations in Colorado. “Our Colorado operations involve the most important parts of our business, with activities ranging from missile manufacturing to advanced information systems, aviation mapping, national missile defense and support of both military and civilian space operations.”

The state’s abundance of information technology and subcomponent providers, as well as peer aerospace offices and facilities, and military concentrations validates Boeing’s strong presence in Colorado.

“Boeing is proud to be the right arm of all the military and civil programs that are pervasive throughout the state,” Lorber said. “These include close partnerships with NORAD and U.S. Space Command and their service components, NASA, NOAA, national programs and various federal clients.”

Boeing is the largest private employer in Pueblo, where it assembles Delta expendable rockets. The Delta rocket is probably the most reliable rocket platform in the world, with a 98 percent success rate. In the past 40 years it has been the most powerful and reliable platform for satellite launches worldwide.

The company works on a wide range of programs from missile defense to current and future space vehicles, satellite systems, aerospace defense and worldwide communications. Additionally, it develops cutting edge space and communications systems, provides system integration, engineering and support services that buoy the state’s military, civil and commercial space infrastructure.

In Englewood, Boeing owns Jeppesen, a firm providing a wide array of aviation information and flight training services, aviation weather services, maintenance information, pilot training systems and pilot supplies.

In Aurora, the Boeing Engineering Center develops technologies to create affordable networks and communications systems, digital information storage systems, and enterprise management systems for defense and commercial customers.

Located in Colorado Springs and Aurora, Audiometric provides information services such as remote sensing, image processing, image interpretation and analysis, digital mapping and spatial data systems. Additionally, Audiometrics’ provides visualization, modeling and space simulation systems, and high-end systems integration and engineering for both military and civilian applications.

Boeing is also developing the next family of GPS (global positioning satellites). The GPS are the satellites that provide exact locations from any site on earth to those equipped with GPS receivers. They are also used to provide time signals used by financial institutions. The new breed of GPS will have encryption for military use, to keep data out of the hands of enemy soldiers. Civilians will still be able to use the GPS, but would be unable to receive encrypted information.

Boeing also contributes to its local communities and sponsors internships for engineering students at the University of Colorado and offers guest lectures and science fair sponsorships through the national Challenger Middle School program. It also provides numerous grants, scholarships and sponsorships to programs such as the YMCA, USO, the Air Force Association and other military, civic and relief organizations.