Colorado lawmakers invite Vice President to see Colorado’s dynamic space industry

(Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong | U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 8:55 AM MDT
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(KKTV) - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper were joined by a bipartisan majority of the Colorado Congressional Delegation in an invitation to Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Colorado. The lawmakers are hoping to encourage the Biden Administration in overturning the decision to move the U.S. Space Command out of the state.

Lawmakers sent a letter to Harris, who was recently appointed Chair of the National Space Council. She is working to identify the Council’s priorities, and Colorado legislators believe the decision to move Space Command Huntsville, Alabama should be reviewed.

In the letter, Bennet, Hickenlooper, and the lawmakers explain that, “Colorado is the largest space economy per capita in the country,” with, “over 500 space-related companies and suppliers, including nine of the nation’s largest aerospace contractors.”

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Madam Vice President:

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Chair of the National Space Council. As you work to identify the Council’s priorities, we invite you to visit Colorado to experience firsthand the dynamism of our state’s private and public space industry.

Colorado is the largest space economy per capita in the country. Our state is home to over 500 space-related companies and suppliers, including nine of the nation’s largest aerospace contractors. Colorado aerospace companies directly employ more than 30,000 people, while an additional 200,000 work in space-related jobs. This concentration of technical expertise from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope drives cutting-edge innovation that benefits our entire country.

As our nation’s space economy continues to grow, its future depends on dynamic education and research. Colorado is at the heart of this work. The U.S. Air Force Academy has the nation’s top undergraduate aerospace engineering program. The University of Colorado Boulder receives more NASA funding than any other public university. The Colorado School of Mines’ Space Resources Program is the world’s first multi-disciplinary graduate program focused on space resources. Across the state, there are 21 universities and institutions that participate in the Space Grant Consortium, providing students from all backgrounds an opportunity to partake in space research. With each investment Colorado makes in space education, our state contributes to a highly-trained workforce with the specialization necessary to ensure the nation’s primacy in space.

Our skilled workforce is one of the primary reasons why Colorado is at the nexus of space operations for the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense. Our state is home to the National Space Defense Center, U.S. Northern Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Buckley Space Force Base, and the National Reconnaissance Office’s Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado. Eight of the nine current Space Force Deltas are based in Colorado. The ongoing success of these missions and installations in assessing and mitigating vulnerabilities in space further reaffirms Colorado as the best permanent home for the U.S. Space Command. At a time when the threats in this domain are growing by the day, our nation can ill-afford the delay, expense, and attrition associated with relocating Space Command.

We look forward to working together on these and other priorities in your capacity as Chair of the National Space Council and invite you to visit Colorado to see how our state leads the country in space security, innovation, and education.

In addition to Bennet and Hickenlooper, the letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), and Ken Buck (R-Colo.).

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