SpaceX launches new competition to Colorado’s United Launch Alliance

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Photo: SpaceX Falcon9 Thai communications launch
SpaceX, the private space company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, successfully launched a Thai broadcasting satellite from Cape Canaveral January 6, 2014.

The stakes are high for Colorado. ULA employs more than 1,700 people in the state, and they are important jobs. According to a Brookings Institute study, launch-related jobs in Colorado paid an average wage of $107,000 in 2011, compared to the state private-sector average of $49,000. And the job growth in the sector from 2002-2011 was an impressive 67%, compared to 4.4% overall.