Space Foundation Press Releases

RTX Awards Grant to Space Foundation Discovery Center for Renovations, Field Trips, and New Generation Programming

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — April 8, 2024 —  Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering education, collaboration and information for the global space ecosystem, today announced that RTX (NYSE: RTX) has awarded Space Foundation Discovery Center a $150,000 grant to inspire the next generation of aerospace leaders around the globe.

“As we chart our course toward the moon and beyond, the need for skilled talent to drive this pivotal mission has never been more important, especially here in Colorado, a key space hub. RTX’s grant is a crucial boost for Space Foundation Discovery Center, enabling us to expand our reach and offer more children access to STEM education. This investment not only strengthens our commitment to cultivating and diversifying the space workforce but also propels us toward a new frontier in space exploration,” said Melissa Patton, Space Foundation vice president of education.

The grant will fund renovations of Space Foundation Discovery Center, adding two new interactive education labs and enhancing existing facilities. Additionally, it will support the Discover the Universe ScholarTrips program, providing free visits for K-12 students and teachers from Title 1 and military-connected schools in Colorado. This initiative aims to reduce barriers and provide unique learning experiences for students from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the grant will also expand the New Generation program to offer three new leadership exchanges for high school students and young professionals from underserved communities, fostering career development and mentoring opportunities.

“We are committed to promoting STEM education by helping to provide access to resources that can transform the lives of young people in our communities,” said Sandy Brown, vice president, mission solutions and payloads, for Raytheon. “Advancing lifelong learning helps build the next generation of talent in Colorado.”

RTX’s expanded partnership with Space Foundation Discovery Center is part of RTX’s Connect Up initiative, which is a 10-year, $500 million corporate social responsibility effort to drive transformative, generational impact on critical societal challenges.

About Space Foundation Discovery Center

Space Foundation Discovery Center is a hands-on, interactive space and science center focused on inspiring, educating and preparing the next generation of explorers and innovators in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Partnerships with government, educational institutions, and commercial enterprises support science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) exhibits and programming. To learn more about Space Foundation Discovery Center, visit

About Space Foundation 

Space Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, offering education, collaboration and information for the global space ecosystem. Driven by partnerships, Space Foundation unites the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through support from corporate members, sponsors, fundraising and grants. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About RTX

With more than 185,000 global employees, RTX pushes the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses — Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon — we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2023 sales of $69 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.


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Tags: Space Foundation, Space Foundation Discovery Center, RTX, Raytheon, New Generation, Discover the Universe, Connect Up, STEM education, space education, space advocate, space exploration, science center, space museum, space ecosystem, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Region

Media Contacts:

Rich Cooper
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
[email protected]

Dottie O’Rourke
TECHMarket Communications
(650) 344-1260
[email protected]

Liz Maddy
Media Relations
(720) 948-9005
[email protected]