Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S2, Episode 20

What is it about Colorado?

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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.

Key Takeaways:

  • Colorado has the largest number of aerospace jobs in the nation per capita, and aerospace being a major economic driver in Colorado, and CO continues to establish itself as a leader in aerospace – the Aerospace Frontier.
  • Emily Howell Warner,  became the first female pilot for a scheduled US airline in 1973, and the first female airline captain in 1976.
  • “Jepp” Jeppesen’s handwritten notes in a ten-cent notebook grew into the aeronautical charting industry.
  • Scott Carpenter was the first person ever to eat solid food in space and the second American to orbit the Earth.
  • Jessica Watkins is a Colorado astronaut and is the first Black woman to work on the International Space Station.
  • Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, daughter of a Cuban immigrant, became an engineer, a medical doctor, and an astronaut who spent more than six months in space.
  • The exhibit focuses on people and their stories, but visitors will see some really cool artifacts to illustrate those stories, including some that we’ve never put on display before, so even if you’ve been to the museum, you’ll see something new.
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