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Even as local business and government officials campaigned in Washington, D.C., for Colorado Springs to become the permanent home for U.S. Space Command, the Aerospace Corp. broke ground here on Sept. 23 on what it called a "state-of-the-art research and development center."

Besides local officials attending, leadership from Space Command and U.S. Space Force was also present, according to the company's news release.

From the release: 

"Aerospace’s facility will be the focal point for delivering technical expertise across the space enterprise to outpace threats to national security. The building’s digital engineering environment will enable high-fidelity analysis and physics-based modeling and simulations as well as development of tactics, techniques, and procedures that will provide insight into space warfighting."

Aerospace's president and CEO Steve Isakowitz called the facility a gamechanger for technical and simulation capabilities for the space warfighters.

“...Aerospace focuses on solving our government and industry partners’ most challenging problems," he said in a release.

The $100 million, three-story, 90,000-square-foot building, to be completed in spring 2022, will connect to the company’s existing building near the Colorado Springs Airport. It was designed to accommodate up to 200 employees, the release said.

“We’re pleased to grow our role as a trusted technical partner to our government partners and industry colleagues in the Greater Colorado Springs defense and space community,” Jay Santee, Aerospace vice president for Space Systems Operations and site executive for Colorado Springs, said in the release.

Santee predicted the facility will boost the company's economic impact by 75 percent and add 200 technical jobs locally.

Aerospace already employs 240 engineers, scientists and analysts at its current facility in the Peak Innovation Park at the airport and at nearby customer sites. These employees primarily work for the company’s Defense Systems Group’s Strategic Space Operations division and the corporation’s national engineering technology hub, the Engineering and Technology Group. 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said in a statement to the Indy, "The groundbreaking of the new Aerospace Corporation research and development facility is yet more evidence that Colorado Springs is the epicenter of military space and the best location to serve as the permanent home of U.S. Space Force. This new facility adds to our city’s already robust aerospace and defense ecosystem. Further, the creation of 200 new jobs and the potential for many more will continue to power our city’s economy and airport development.”

This week, Reggie Ash, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC chief defense development officer; Jeff Greene, chief of staff for Mayor Suthers; and El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller went to D.C. to meet with "key decision-makers and political influencers" about Space Command, the Chamber said in a release. The command is currently based at Peterson Air Force Base for six years, pending a decision for its permanent location.

The Aerospace Corporation is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees nationwide with locations in El Segundo, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Colorado Springs, and Washington, D.C.