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Spacecraft by Lockheed Martin Named 2023 Coolest Thing Made in Colorado

For media inquiries, please contact Cynthia Eveleth-Havens at [email protected].

DENVER – The Colorado Chamber today announced that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and asteroid-sampling mission by Lockheed Martin Space has been named the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado for 2023. The award was presented at the Colorado Chamber’s annual meeting luncheon.

The OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft, developed and constructed by Lockheed Martin in Colorado, was utilized by NASA to obtain a sample from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. Launched on September 8, 2016, the spacecraft conducted a detailed two-year survey from orbit, and successfully collected a sample. This sample, brought back to earth on September 24, 2023, marks a significant milestone as the first sample retrieved by a U.S. mission. It promises invaluable insights into the early formation of our solar system and holds potential clues about the origins of life on Earth.

“What could be cooler than a spacecraft doing revolutionary work to understand our solar system – built right here in Colorado?” said Colorado Chamber President and CEO Loren Furman. “What’s made here changes the world, and we’re so proud to honor Lockheed Martin’s OSIRIS-Rex mission as our 2023 winner. I also want to recognize all of our finalists this year ­– together, they represent the innovation, diversity, and drive of our manufacturing industry.”

The Colorado Chamber also recognized the runner-up and People’s Choice Award winner in the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado competition. The full list of winners is as follows:

Coolest Thing Made in Colorado 2023 Winner

OSIRIS-REx by Lockheed Martin Space

Watch the winner’s video.

Coolest Thing Made in Colorado Runner-Up

OcuLenz by Ocutrx Vision Technologies, Inc.

Watch the runner’s up video.

People’s Choice Award

DNA Vibe “Jazz Band Live” by DNA Vibe, LLC

Watch the People’s Choice winner video.

The Coolest Thing Made in Colorado award and runner-up were selected by an independent committee, who reviewed and assessed each nomination for the contest, determined the finalists, and ultimately selected the winner. The People’s Choice Award winner was decided by online popular vote conducted in September.

Nominations for the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado opened on August 1, 2023 and the top 10 finalists were announced in September.



The Colorado Chamber of Commerce champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. What the Colorado Chamber accomplishes is good for all businesses, and that’s good for the state’s economy. It was created in 1965 based on the merger with the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association.