Colorado Springs, COLO -

Rockets that head out into space are not launched from Southern Colorado, but the space industry still has a significant impact on our economy.

Monday, the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance released a report that said that the space industry was directly responsible for around 3,000 jobs, with a total economic impact of nearly $300 million.

Many of the largest aerospace companies have offices in Colorado Springs and despite budget cuts at NASA and the Pentagon, those companies have found ways to survive and thrive.

The results of the report said that the total impact of the defense and aerospace industries was more than $12 billion.  That figure surprised even the group that commissioned it.

"The size of the impact ... was larger than we expected.  That's a pleasant surprise and we're glad to have it here.  But that just means that we have to work that much harder to protect what we have," said Andrew Merritt, chief defense industry officer for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

The report also outlined challenges that face the industry in the Pike's Peak Region, including finding skilled workers and transportation issues.