COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - As the leaders in aerospace convene in Colorado this week, the state is hoping this will be a selling point to land a United States Space Command. A list of six bases are finalists for the space command, and four of the bases are in Colorado.
Four of the six military bases which could be the new home for U.S. Space Command are in Colorado.
"This is a giant industry in the state, and we're number one in the nation per capita for aerospace employees. It creates thousands of jobs, great paying jobs, a lot of innovative technology and helps our economy grow," said Jim Lindell, the Colorado Aerospace Champion from the state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
Air Force Command is already run out of Peterson Air Force Base, but a more robust command is planned by the Trump Administration. Colorado is hoping that academia and a robust private sector can also lure the headquarters.
"We need to have an air traffic control like for airplanes. We need better space traffic control for our assets in space," said Phil Larson, the Assistant Dean of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.
CU has a highly ranked Aerospace Engineering program.
The 35th annual Space Symposium is taking place at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs this week. It's an opportunity for Colorado's to showcase its status in the aerospace industry.
"There are ripple effects. To have a combatant command, U.S. Space Command here in Colorado. What you have is a center of a cluster that would develop around space command," said Lindell.
It's estimated 200,000 employees work for the 400 aerospace companies in Colorado. Space Command could help those numbers skyrocket.
"Space is one of those things where government plays a huge role to play. It's the largest customer when you talk about launches or building new space craft. If the government sets up here for space command it's going to trickle down," said Larson.
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