Colorado, known for its majestic Rocky mountains, clean air and water, outdoor lifestyle... and spaceport? That's just what Gov. John Hickenlooper is hoping anyway with a a recent bid to the Federal Aviation Administration for a spaceport designation in the Front Range, the Associated Press reports.
The plan, announced Wednesday, would transform the Front Range Airport, just six miles from DIA, into a spaceport where space craft could launch tourists and other commercial passengers into space, according to the Denver Business Journal. Hickenlooper made the announcement at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and said to to the audience comprised of aerospace industry members:
These are the opportunities, like cell phones in the early 1990s, that seem far fetched but may not be all that far away. The potential here is huge.
Although it does sound very future-forward, some states like New Mexico have already built a similar facility in Spaceport America.
Emerging technology like rocket powered space craft that launch horizontally, rather than vertically, would allow for relatively affordable space tourism as well as extraordinarily fast trips to points on Earth, The Denver Post reports. "In an hour and a half, you can be in Singapore," executive president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp Tom Clark said.
Colorado is viewed as a good fit due to it being the home to over one hundred aerospace companies, programs and military aerospace command centers. In terms of a state space economy, Colorado just passed Florida, and is now second only to California.