It's my pleasure to welcome you this evening. I'd like to thank all our MAVEN, chamber and Economic Development Council partners for supporting this event.


We are honored to have Major General Jay Lindell here tonight. Maj. Gen. Lindell joined the Governor's Office in 2013 as Colorado's Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion. With more than 20 years of experience in aerospace operations, Maj. Gen. Lindell oversees the implementation of the state's aerospace strategic plan, uniting industry networks within the aerospace community.

Also with us today is:  

  • State Representative Joann Ginal
  • State Representative Janak Joshi
  • State Senator Nancy Todd

I would like to thank and welcome all those representing the great state of Colorado, and the local governments officials, who have joined us here tonight.  Thank you for coming.

In less than two weeks MAVEN is scheduled to enter Mars' orbit to culminate more than a decade of work.

MAVEN is quite a story … and it's a Colorado story. Nearly half of CU-Boulder's $671 million MAVEN contract with NASA was returned to the Colorado economy. We at CU-Boulder are fortunate to partner with Colorado space industry leaders Lockheed Martin, which built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations; United Launch Alliance, which launched it; and Exelis, which manages the deep space network used to communicate with MAVEN.

NASA financed MAVEN by awarding the contract to CU and our Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. We've had a long-standing and very fruitful relationship with NASA going back 50 years. As Edgar noted, CU-Boulder has been NASA's top-funded public university for several years. It's been a great partnership.

We are proud that CU-Boulder is the only university in the world to have designed, built and sent instruments to every planet in the solar system and Pluto. Currently we have instruments in orbit around Saturn and Mercury and we are en route to Pluto on New Horizons.

CU-Boulder is in a unique position to fulfill a pivotal role in continuing to grow and transform Colorado's aerospace and space sciences economy.

We're also pleased to educate and train the next generation of space scientists and engineers in partnership with industry. MAVEN alone helped prepare more than 100 CU students for work in the space industry.

About one-third of the engineering staff at Lockheed Martin earned one of their degrees from CU, including Guy Beutelschies, space exploration systems director at Lockheed, who oversaw development of the MAVEN spacecraft, and whom we will hear from in a few minutes.

CU-Boulder graduates also work at NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, United Launch Alliance, Ball Aerospace, DigitalGlobe and Sierra Nevada just to name a few. Twenty CU graduates and affiliates have become NASA astronauts.

We're proud to partner with Colorado companies and to play a key role in the success of one of Colorado's most vital industries.

NASA's Jim Green

Now I would like to introduce our host this evening, Dr. Jim Green.

Dr. Green has spent his entire 34-year career at NASA, starting at the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1980, upon earning his PhD in Space Physics from the University of Iowa.

In 2006, Dr. Green became the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. In January 2013, he was appointed the additional role of Acting Director for the Mars Exploration Program, responsible for NASA's Mars science program, including NASA's oversight of the MAVEN mission. Please welcome Dr. Jim Green.