Aldo Svaldi --- The Denver Post
From launching the next-generation space vehicle Orion to laying miles and miles of petroleum pipelines and fiber-optic cables, Colorado companies and their executives connected a lot of dots in 2014.
Colorado continued its dominance in aerospace and science, with Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance and several other players in the state getting NASA's Orion — a craft designed to explore deep space and someday put a human on Mars — developed and through its first launch.
Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Louisville-based Space Systems division lost a $6.8 billion "space taxi" contract with NASA, but its chief, Mark Sirangelo, vowed to find private companies and other space agencies willing to use Dream Chaser spacecraft.
On terra firma, the drilling boom in the Denver-Julesburg Basin accelerated, giving Weld County bragging rights to the fastest rate of job growth out of the country's 339 largest counties.
To help all the product emerging from miles below the surface get to market, DCP Midstream, under CEO Wouter van Kempen, invested $1 billion in plants and pipelines in Colorado the past four years, with plans to spend another $1.5 billion by 2016.