Our newest exhibit Pioneers – Pacesetters – Possibilities is now open!
What is it about Colorado?
Coloradans have had a major impact across every aspect of aviation and space exploration. And Colorado’s aviation industries have had a significant influence on your life as a Coloradan.
Our state has produced the first American flying ace, the first civilian helicopter ambulance service, and the first female airline pilot. We’ve grown astronauts and executives, entrepreneurs and visionaries, and the aerospace industry has brought hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars into our state’s economy. In fact, Colorado has the nation’s second largest aerospace economy, and aviation is the fastest-growing industry segment in the Denver area.
Aerospace research and technology developed in Colorado’s schools and labs is out there exploring other planets—and a lot of it finds its way into products you use every day.
Come take a look around and behold the excitement and adventure of flight in our state!
Pioneers – Pacesetters – Possibilities exhibit is included in museum admission.
Pioneers: This exhibit introduces visitors to some of the people and organizations who have advanced aviation technology, air travel, and space science over the years – like:
- Emily Howell Warner, who became the first female pilot for a scheduled US airline in 1973, and the first female airline captain in 1976
- “Jepp” Jeppesen, whose handwritten notes in a ten-cent notebook grew into the aeronautical charting industry
- Scott Carpenter, the first person ever to eat solid food in space, and the second American to orbit the Earth
Pacesetters: It’s important to recognize that you don’t have to be the first, the biggest, or the most successful to make a significant contribution. The exhibit also includes people who broke down gender and racial barriers to achieve their dreams – like:
- Jessica Watkins, a Colorado astronaut who is the first Black woman to work on the International Space Station
- Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, daughter of a Cuban immigrant who became an engineer, a medical doctor, and an astronaut who spent more than six months in space.
- Rick Adam, whose company was launching an innovative line of new business airplanes when it was stymied by a global economic recession in 2008.
Possibilities: There are also those who see new possibilities and push existing concepts and technologies in new directions – like:
- Martin’s Titan family of launch vehicles, which started as a successful nuclear deterrent, grew into a crewed orbital launch vehicle, and continued to grow into a reliable launch vehicle for satellites and interplanetary probes
- Electric aircraft that can be fueled by sunshine—we display the electric equipment that recently powered an experimental Cessna