Red Canyon Software

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Red Canyon Sofware - Exploring Other Planets, Improving Our Own

News Archive

October 2015

Red Canyon engineer Lisa Akers wins NASA Silver Snoopy award
This month, Red Canyon's own Lisa Akers (pictured second from left) was awarded the very prestigious NASA Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Silver Snoopy Award. This is the astronauts' personal achievement award, and is given to less than one percent of the total NASA/contractor workforce annually. This Snoopy was awarded in recognition of her efforts to assemble the Orion Launch Abort System for the EM-1 mission, including the first ever flight installation of the protective fairings that keep the crew safe during launch and ascent. Her efforts to ensure the LAS is correctly assembled, fully functional, and properly installed on the crew module are recognized as a key aspect of crew safety and mission success – a feature most appreciated by the astronauts. Lisa is an extremely dedicated engineer and Red Canyon is so proud to have her on the team!

Lisa Akers

September 2015

Red Canyon engineer Dan Smith Hall of Fame
Red Canyon employee Dan Smith recently traveled back to his high school in Fargo, ND.  While there, he was invited to speak to students about his career as an Electrical Engineer.  Dan spoke to 3 different classes, including 2 Advanced Placement classes.  His presentations focused heavily on the space program with an emphasis on his recent contributions to the Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle.  Dan emphasized the importance of studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as well as the value of a college education in enhancing future career opportunities.  In this photo, Dan is talking about some of his efforts to promote STEM, including a GESTEM seminar that encouraged 7th and 8th grade girls to think about planning a 3 year mission to Mars.

Dan Smith

August 2015

Red Canyon is now a Certifiably Green company
We are excited to announce that as of August 12th, Red Canyon Software is Denver Certifiably Green company! One of our company values is to "conduct all business with an ethic of conservation and long-term awareness." As such, we strive to find new ways to support this value and reduce our company's carbon footprint. In order to receive this certification, we completed a Green Checklist covering several categories such as Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, and Resource Management. A few of the items in which we participate include recycling, installing high-efficiency toilets, purchasing Energy Star-rated equipment, and donating extra office supplies and materials to local nonprofits or schools. Interested in having your business become Certifiably Green? Check out the program here!

March 2014

Red Canyon Awarded Phase II SBIR, Colorado State AI Grant, and NREL IDIQ Contract
Red Canyon Software recieved many exciting awards this month in the areas of Research & Development and renewable energy!

On March 7th, we were awarded a two-year Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from NASA for our Integrated Scheduler-Planner And Reactive Executive (I-SPAREX) autonomous decision-making software! This is the next stage following our successful award and performance of the Phase I SBIR Contract last year.

On March 13th, we were awarded a $250,000 Colorado Advanced Industries grant in order to expand the applications of I-SPAREX to industries outside of aerospace, such as robotics manufacturing, UAVs, and remote monitoring for gas and oil wells. We will be using the funding from the NASA contract and this grant to set up a computer laboratory in which to develop this software!

Last, but certainly not least, on March 13th we were awarded a three-year, $21-million contract with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for a proposal submitted last October! Red Canyon will be providing Science and Business IT Services & Support for NREL, located in Golden, Colorado.

January 2014

Red Canyon Begins Supporting Honeywell Aerospace
Starting this month, Red Canyon has teamed up with local company Lewis Fowler to provide Orion program support to Honeywell Aerospace in the areas of Program Planning & Control, Proposal Coordination, Systems Safety, and Hardware and Software Quality Assurance. Team Red Canyon has nearly 10 people on contract and is looking forward to exploring this new and exiting relationship!

November 2013

Red Canyon Selected for NASA KLXS II Contract at KSC as Part of Millenium Engineering's Winning Team
Red Canyon Software is proud to announce that we have been awarded a contract under the winning Millenium Engineering team to provide engineering support for NASA's Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) at Kennedy Space Center. This is a follow-on contract with a $97.2 million dollar value and a potential five-year performance duration, beginning in February, 2014. Red Canyon is excited to begin this new opportunity with Millenium Engineering and to build a strong foundation for our current and future services at KSC!

October 2013

Red Canyon Selected as Prime for $50M Lockheed Martin IDIQ Civil Space Technical Services Contract
Red Canyon Software and its three teammates were awarded a 5-year, $50 million dollar, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract by Lockheed Martin. Beginning in January, 2014, Red Canyon will provide engineering and technical services support to Lockheed across all Civil Space programs, including ORION, Juno, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, MAVEN, and GOES-R. In addition to winning a prime contract, we are on teams with three companies who were also awarded prime contracts. Red Canyon is thrilled to continue providing outstanding services to Lockheed Martin, and we look forward to the opportunities this new contract will provide!

October 2013

Red Canyon Team Member in the Denver Post
Red Canyon's own Kelly Bezjak was pictured in the Denver Post article regarding the Juno mission flyby on October 9th. The Juno spacecraft seeks to further our understanding of Jupiter's atmosphere, origins, and core. The spacecraft passed within just 347 miles of Earth's surface Wednesday, but surprised the mission operations team at Lockheed Martin when it reemerged from Earth's dark side sending an unexpectedly weak signal. It was discovered that while in the communication blackout the spacecraft had put itself into safe mode for an as yet unknown reason. Click here to read the full article!

When we asked about the status of the spacecraft, Kelly was able to share this information with us:

"Despite the Safe Mode entry, the spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter and is healthy. The Safe Mode did not affect the purpose of the flyby, which was to put Juno on course to Jupiter; all spacecraft systems are currently functioning nominally. As a Red Canyon team member, I am proud to have supported flyby operations!"

July 2013

Red Canyon Software Mention in the Denver Post
Red Canyon has been supporting Lockheed Martin in the development of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft since early 2011. Just under 4 months prior to the anticipated launch, MAVEN will be disassembled and shipped to Florida for launch preparation. Check out this article in the Denver Post for more information, as well as a nod to Red Canyon's support!

May 2013

Red Canyon Software Featured in Denver Business Journal
In regards to a NASA Small Buiness Innovative Research (SBIR) proposal submitted by Red Canyon Software in November 2012, we have been featured in the May 3rd edition of the Denver Business Journal. If you are a DBJ subscriber, please visit the Denver Business Journal website to read the article. Otherwise, click here to download a PDF version. If you are interested in writing an SBIR please take look at our SBIR and R&D Opps posting.

April 2011

Barry Hamilton Featured in Book about Entrepreneurism
Barry Hamilton has been featured as one of twenty entrepreneurs in the recently launched, Donald Trump endorsed book, The Sleeping Giant by author Ken McElroy - a book that brings together entrepreneurs to share their powerful and inspiring stories of how they found success through self-employment while sharing great advice knowledge and inspiration to the reader. The "Giant" in the title refers to the burgeoning number of unemployed individuals who are awakening to their own great possibilities and talents, and not only discovering niche markets for the themselves, but in the process, creating new jobs for others. Hamilton is discussed in Chapter 3, Reaching for the Stars, where he discusses his path to entrepreneurial success. For more information on The Sleeping Giant, or to see Hamilton's section please visit

Kelly Bezjak, a Red Canyon employee since 2000, is wrapping up her work on Lockheed's Stardust NExT (New Exploration of Tempel 1) spacecraft. Stardusts's mission was to take images of the comet "Tempel 1" impact site left by a probe from the Deep Impact spacecraft in 2005. The flyby went without a hitch - scientists received all the high quality images they were hoping for. Kelly's involvement helped ensure that the targeting of the spacecraft to Tempel 1 was within a couple of degrees of the predictions. The mission was a success on several levels. Studying the surface features of the comet since Deep Space visited enables humankind to make great advances in our knowledge about comets. The project is also being heralded for its low cost, use of existing assets in space, and coordination of large science teams. Congratulations to Kelly for a job well done.

Dec 2010

Red Canyon Honored - Red Canyon was recently honored in "Colorado Companies to Watch (CTW)," a program which recognizes growing companies that are developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and building new industries throughout Colorado. Be sure to check the Red Canyon feature on the CTW website. The State of Colorado supports Colorado CTW through the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade both in leadership and sponsorship.

Read more about the award here. Click here for a direct link to the interview with Barry.

Pepper Hewitt & Nevin Green Win Awards

Red Canyon Employee Pepper Hewitt won another award for her outstanding personal and professional commitment to the Orion Project and America's Human Space Exploration Program for the Pad Abort 1 (PA1) Team. Pepper was personally awarded the "Space Flight Awareness Leadership" award, which according to NASA "is intended for recognition of mid-level managers who consistently demonstrate loyalty, empowerment, accountability, diversity, excellence, respect, sharing, honesty, and integrity, and are proactive." Specifically, the award acknowledged exceptional efforts in developing the Pad Abort 1 requirements, coordination of team products, and operational planning. As a testament to Pepper's outstanding professionalism and graceful humility, she recognized the excellence of her fellow Pad Abort team members.

In addition, fellow Red Canyon engineer Nevin Green was recognized for his contributions as part of the PA1 Pyrotechnics, Mechanisms, and Parachutes team. SFA Team Awards are used to recognize small groups of employees that have demonstrated exemplary teamwork while accomplishing a particular task or goal in support of the human space program.

Red Canyon would like to thank everyone at NASA and Lockheed Martin on the Orion project for recognizing subcontractors as integral to the success of the project. Thank you, Pepper and Nevin, for your continued outstanding leadership and excellence. We are extremely proud to have you on our team.

LunarSIM- Red Canyon Engineering & Software has been awarded a contract with NASA Glenn Research Center for the development of NASA’s “LunarSIM” Educational Software Simulator.

LunarSIM will be an online game involving an interactive lunar base design and exploration simulation of a moon-base where astronauts live and conduct research. Players will design their lunar base in a 2-D Autocad type environment and then be able to explore the lunar base in the first-person. The goal of the game is to educate our next generation of space explorers, targeted at middle school students in grades six to eight. The game will be distributed for free via the internet and DVD.


Nebula Award-"Congratulations, Pepper! Red Canyon Engineering & Software employee Pepper Hewitt was recently awarded the Lockheed Martin Orion Nebula Award for her outstanding performance as a subcontractor on Orion. Pepper is recognized for her steadfast dedication, commitment, and sacrifice to the Lockheed Martin Orion Flight Test team. Pepper led her team during the Lockheed Martin flight test manager's absence while supporting the NASA flight test office and keeping the PA-1 flight test integration on schedule. Through her contributions to the CEV Phase One proposal, Pepper was instrumental in helping Red Canyon win the Orion subcontract with Lockheed Martin. Pepper has helped grow Red Canyon by expanding our Orion subcontract and by recruiting other outstanding Red Canyon employees to our team. Red Canyon honors Pepper in this well-deserved achievement award!"