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Denver metro may soon be the gateway to space thanks to Spaceport Colorado

Front Range airport applies for license with FAA
Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 00:46:02-05

WATKINS, Colo. –  The Denver metro may soon be the gateway to space. The Front Range Airport in Adams County has applied to be home to Spaceport Colorado and the FAA just began reviewing its bid.

Five years from now could be the earliest we see Spaceport Colorado's first launch.

About a mile-and-a-half from the airport’s current grounds is where the hub will be built.

Airport Director David Ruppel told Denver7 the initial plans, if all moves forward, will be one flight per week operating out of the spaceport.

"There is a lot of open space, so that's a critical piece, that's one of the reasons we can do it here," said Ruppel.

Spaceport Colorado will accommodate planes making horizontal takeoffs and landings. The planes take off like traditional airplanes using jet fuel, but after clearing the spaceport, rocket boosters launch the craft into suborbital flight. To land, the craft drops out of suborbital flight to land like a traditional airplane.

Located in the Denver metro area, Adams County is the state's fifth largest county serving a population of nearly 500,000 residents. Adams County is home to the cities of Brighton, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Northglenn and Thornton; portions of Arvada, Aurora and Westminster; and the town of Bennett. Unincorporated communities include Henderson, Strasburg and Watkins.

Adams County Director of Communications Jim Siedlecki spoke to Denver7 about the potential new jobs this spaceport will bring.

"Spaceports, you've seen ten of them pop up around the country. It's now time for Colorado to have one to make sure that we are keeping all these aerospace jobs in Colorado, and that the future of space travel may originate here," said Siedlecki.

We can look to Spaceport America's lead, as they attract big names. It's too early to tell what companies will bring their planes to Front Range, as the FAA is still reviewing the airport application. But if it moves forward one thing is for sure:

"We will be a player in this 21st Century game of space travel and industrial space uses," Siedlecki said.

For more information, visit Spaceport Colorado's website.