Denver, Colorado. August 14, 2014 – Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed today WorldView-3 Day in Colorado, in recognition of yesterday’s launch of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite, the first multi-payload, high-resolution commercial imaging satellite, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
WorldView-3 is the first commercial satellite to feature high-resolution shortwave infrared bands that allow accurate imaging through haze, fog, dust, and smoke, and it will provide unprecedented views of Earth that will aid climate study, disaster and humanitarian relief, defense and intelligence applications, and many commercial industries.
“WorldView-3 is truly a Colorado endeavor,” said Hickenlooper. “The fact that this cutting-edge satellite was built for a Colorado company, by Colorado companies, and launched by Colorado companies, speaks to our state’s remarkable aerospace industry and economy.”
DigitalGlobe, a leading provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions, worked with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to build WorldView-3, the next-generation remote-sensing satellite. Exelis built the satellite’s imaging payload, and it was launched by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services on an Atlas V rocket, provided by United Launch Alliance (ULA).
“Congratulations to all of the companies that are a part of the WorldView-3 mission,” Hickenlooper said. “Proclaiming today as WorldView-3 Day is a fitting opportunity to shine a significant spotlight on our state’s leading role in satellite and geospatial technologies.”
WorldView-3 Day and the WorldView-3 partnership between the five Colorado companies including DigitalGlobe, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Exelis, and ULA, builds upon Colorado’s strong position in the global aerospace industry as the nation’s third-largest aerospace economy.
“It is a momentous day for DigitalGlobe, our partners, and the entire Colorado aerospace community,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe President and CEO. “The successful launch of WorldView-3 was an undertaking made possible by thousands of people across our state, and we are extraordinarily thankful for all their hard work.”
Leading space projects such as WorldView-3 have contributed to close to 170,000 space-related jobs in the state, which is also home to more than 400-space-related companies. Aerospace is one of the Colorado’s highest paying industry sectors, with aerospace workers making an average annual salary of $127,000.
Colorado’s had an impressive 17 percent growth in aerospace employment during the past decade, and Colorado now ranks first in the nation for the number of private aerospace workers per capita. Colorado is also a national hub for geospatial technologies, remote sensing, and satellite-based services. These comprise the largest category of the state’s space economy activity, bringing in $6.3 billion in annual revenue, and experiencing nearly 8 percent annual growth.
“Colorado aerospace companies are at the forefront of space travel, exploration, and research,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “WorldView-3 Day represents our continuing support for aerospace business and innovation in Colorado.”
Colorado also has the nation’s second-most highly educated workforce, a high concentration of major space military centers, and boasts research universities that are prominent in space innovation as well as training the next generation of aerospace workers.
“Colorado is a mile closer to space and home to some of the nation’s most innovative aerospace companies,” said Tom Clark, CEO of The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC). “If anyone is curious as to if the aerospace industry is going to succeed, they just need to look to Colorado and see how its companies are forging ahead for the answer.”