Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems celebrate 50 years of continuous operations in El Segundo, Calif. The ceremony, which featured U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn as the keynote speaker, focused on the company’s role as the world's leading manufacturer of geostationary satellites and a key employer in Southern California.

"There's not a day goes by that someone on this planet doesn’t benefit from the satellites you produce," Hahn stated. "This facility is key to the industrial base here in the South Bay and helps to anchor the aerospace industry in Southern California. It is a national asset that has produced nearly 300 satellites--everything from the first communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit to the most recent GPS IIF satellite that was launched [in July]."

"From the time we turned the former Nash Rambler plant into what now is the world's largest satellite factory, our company and the people who work here have been making history," said Craig Cooning, Space & Intelligence Systems vice president and general manager. "We made history in the 1960s, when our team of scientists designed and built the first geosynchronous satellite, which launched the satellite industry. We took that technology and applied it to commercial, military, weather, and intelligence satellite systems. From entertainment to navigation, from weather monitoring to surveillance and everything in between, Boeing continues to make a difference in people's lives."

Today, the Boeing Satellite Development Center (SDC) in El Segundo is the largest satellite factory in the world, encompassing more than 1 million square feet. In 50 years, the plant has produced satellites used for research, exploration, communication, navigation, entertainment, intelligence and surveillance. The SDC produced the first spacecraft to make a fully controlled soft landing on the moon and the first spacecraft to penetrate Jupiter's atmosphere. It also provided the radar for the Magellan spacecraft that took detailed images of Venus' surface.

Hughes Space and Communications Company opened its doors in El Segundo in 1961 and was acquired by Boeing in 2000. The satellite factory today is more efficient and cost-effective as a result of continuous investments by Boeing in order to continue to produce complex satellite systems at the facility.

"Our commitment to the South Bay and to the city of El Segundo remains firm," Cooning said. "Boeing's satellite business remains solid, employment levels are stable, and through the introduction of our recent satellite model, the 702MP, we have returned to our commercial satellite industry roots. Our commitment to our customers is unwavering, and the 6,300 men and women in our satellite business stand behind every system we deliver. We look forward to our next 50 years."

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 64,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.