Colorado applies for federal spaceport designation

9:18 AM, Dec 8, 2011   |    comments
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Gov. Jim Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that his administration sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration seeking the designation.

"[The Governor] mentioned at the Colorado Space Roundup that we have been approved for that first step, and we're moving forward with the process," chairman of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable, Edgar Johansson, said.

The Denver Post reports that a spaceport designation would allow a facility from which space-bound payloads can be launched.

"A number of things [will] happen," Johansson said. "One, most importantly, is that we will be in that running along with other states looking at being designated as a spaceport state. There are only a handful of states that are doing it, but if we're not in that category, then we are not part of that arrow pushing forward."

New Mexico's Spaceport America is perhaps the best-known effort.

Hickenlooper noted that Colorado is home to more than 140 aerospace companies and is ranked among the top three states in terms of revenue generated from the aerospace industry.

"We fluctuated, we are now in the No. 2-spot overall as space states," Johansson said. "We're doing [many] things right, and I think our delegation and our leadership down at the state house is doing a marvelous job of really helping push this effort forward. It's really bringing a lot of great energy to Colorado."

The governor has said Colorado could have the designation in place by the end of 2012.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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