In The News

Boulder To Be Site Of Global Satellite Company’s Largest Facility

Posted: September 24, 2018

Spire Global sees Colorado as important place for space business

A company on the cutting edge of using small satellites to provide data on weather, climate and even the location of ships around the world, is expanding its Boulder office to make it a key hub of its operations.

Spire Global Inc. will show off its new 25,000-square-foot custom weather satellite center in Boulder on Wednesday. It will be the largest of Spire’s five offices. The other offices are in San Francisco, where the company is based, Singapore, Glasgow and Luxembourg.

“Growth in Spire’s business, fueled by the need for more satellite-based data in the weather world, is driving this large expansion of our local footprint,” Spire CEO Peter Platzer said in a statement.

The high-tech and meteorological communities of Colorado make the area an excellent place to do business, Platzer added.

The location of Spaceport Colorado at the Colorado Air and Space Port, formerly Front Range Airport near Watkins, is another big factor, said Alexander MacDonald, director of Spire’s global validation model.

In August, federal regulators granted Spaceport Colorado its operator license, making it one of 11 facilities in the country designated to handle the next generation of flight — space planes. Aerospace companies like Airbus and Virgin Atlantic are working on developing vehicles that would take off from runways under jet power and then ignite a rocket engine for suborbital spaceflight.

“The expansion in Boulder is indicative of how strongly the company feels about Colorado as a place for the space business,” MacDonald said.

The move also speaks to Colorado’s high quality of universities and their graduates, research centers and other members of the industry, added MacDonald, who retired two years ago as head of the Earth System Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder.

About 35 people work for Spire Global in Boulder. The new office building will hold more than 100 employees and include space to build ground stations. The company manufactures satellites at its Glasgow site.

As its workforce grows, so will its network of satellites that collects data worldwide for various companies and government agencies, MacDonald said. Spire has roughly 60 satellites operating and could increase the fleet to 200 as early as next year.

These aren’t your father’s or your mother’s satellites. They are about the size of a wine box, weigh 5 to 10 pounds and have many of the same capabilities of much larger satellites for less than a hundredth of the cost, MacDonald said. He likened the advances in the technology to the kind of revolutionary changes computers have gone through.

“When I was going to school in computer science, everybody said mini computers are going to be very important. Turns out they are, and now everybody has one in their pocket,” MacDonald said.

However, he acknowledged, the smaller satellites can’t do everything the larger ones — some the size of a car or school bus — do.

Technicians work in Spire Global's laboratory in Glasgow, Scotland.Provided by SpireTechnicians work in Spire Global’s laboratory in Glasgow, Scotland. Spire this week announced the expansion of its operations in Boulder, making it the largest of the company’s five international offices.

MacDonald said he’s proud “of our entire profession” for the advances, including the ability to predict three days out where a hurricane will hit land within a margin of error of fewer than 100 miles, an improvement from about 400 miles in years past.

He’s also pleased that there’s now a Spire satellite in orbit with his name on it. The company names satellites set for launch after employees, in the order they joined the company.

“There’s a satellite up there called Alexander,” he said.

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National Space Club Student STEM Scholarship Opportunities

Posted: September 17, 2018

The National Space Club and Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2 student awards that are presented annually at the Goddard Memorial Dinner:

  • the Olin E. Teague Scholarship ($4000.00 awarded to a graduating high school senior interested in pursuing an aerospace career; applications due by October 12)
  • the Keynote Scholarship ($10,000.00 plus the keynote address at the Goddard Memorial Dinner open to a high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student with definite plans to pursue a career in the STEM fields, with a preference for those with space-related interests. Applications due by Nov 30.).

Click Here For More!

The 2019 dinner will be held at the Washington Hilton on Friday, March 22, 2019.

Check out the Coalition's social media!

Click Here For More!


Viasat selects ULA Atlas V to Launch Viasat-3 Satellite Mission

Posted: September 17, 2018

US-based communications company Viasat has signed a contract to use spacecraft launch services provider United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Atlas V vehicle for its ViaSat-3 satellite mission.

The mission will involve the launch of one of the ViaSat-3 series spacecrafts aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle into a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit.

This launch is set to take place between 2020 and 2022 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.

The selection of Atlas V for one of the missions will be the next step. Viasat intends to announce the mission assignments for each of the contracted launch vehicles at a later date.

Viasat said that two of the satellites will focus on the Americas, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively.

The company is planning a third ViaSat-3 satellite for the APAC region.

Viasat Space Systems president Dave Ryan said: “ULA is known for providing an innovative launch solution that is focused on mission success, which will allow us to meet our business objectives to bring high-speed, high-quality broadband connectivity to meet end-user demand.”

ULA’s deal with Viasat is the first commercial contract since the company assumed complete responsibility for the marketing and sales of the Atlas V vehicle from Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services.

ULA president and CEO Tory Bruno said: “ULA’s Atlas V launch vehicle is the most reliable launch vehicle in the world and we could not be more pleased that Viasat, a leading satellite broadband innovator, has recognised the value the Atlas V can offer, and decided to select this rocket to launch its critical commercial communications satellite.”

So far, Atlas V has delivered 78 missions successfully, including 17 commercial ones. It has also launched multiple science missions for NASA.

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Beer Brats and Burgers 2018

Posted: September 10, 2018

I’d like to extend a warm thank you to those that attended and supported our Beers Brats and Burgers event; and to those unable to, we missed you - it was a fun evening filled with great conversations and lots of networking! The Boeing Blue Sky Aviation Gallery, part of the expanded foot print of the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, and the remnants of a late summer thunderstorm provided a great setting for this 10th annual event.
Among the attendees were many familiar faces representing organization across Colorado and even some new companies who have recently joined our aerospace community. The event kicked-off with a welcome from Dan Smith of Moog BroadReach, who served as chair of the event and emcee for our door prizes, which were donated by several member companies and individuals; thank you to those that donated prizes and to the students from the University of Colorado who volunteered to help with set up and registration.

A huge thank you also to all our CSBR volunteers. In short, the CSBR organization is a nonprofit corporation founded to promote the growth of space and space-related industry in Colorado for existing and entrepreneurial businesses and activities. None of the work we do would be possible without our many volunteers who donate their time and creativity to support events such as this, the Round Up, the Internship Program and Aerospace Day at the Capitol to name a few.

If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors for this great organization, or if you’d like to nominate someone, please complete the nomination form by clicking here. Nominations will be accepted through October 1, 2018 and announced at the annual Round Up event on December 5, 2018 - I look forward to seeing all of you there!



Don’t forget to visit the CSBR website for a list of upcoming industry events. Learn more about becoming a member, here.
Thank you again for your support.

Rick Ward
CSBR Chair


Seven People Renewed to CSBR This Past Week!

Posted: September 10, 2018

CSBR would like to recognize Blake Cardwell, Roger Carlone, Dave Lucero, Jacqueline Maldonado, Chris Rice, Ben Scott, EnerSys - ABSL Space Products who recently renewed their membership. We are glad to have you join us for another year!


  • Blake Cardwell - EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

  • Roger Carlone - EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

  • Dave Lucero - EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

  • Jacqueline Maldonado - EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

  • Chris Rice - Aerotek

  • Ben Scott - EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

  • EnerSys - ABSL Space Products

Remember -- you can search all CSBR members on the website.
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