NASA's Growing Presence in Colorado

December 14 2010, 3:00 PM

NASA is planning a new technology park somewhere between Loveland and Boulder that could reap as many as 10,000 jobs for Colorado over the next five years. "The park will leverage Colorado's existing competitive strengths to boost economic growth while creating new jobs and products for aerospace and energy industries," NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver tells The Denver Post, referring to an agreement signed Monday with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology.

That's just the first of two pieces of local space-related news to emerge from NASA yesterday. The other is that Waleed Abdalati, who currently serves as director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named NASA's chief scientist (via Space News). The only downer is that Abdalati will serve at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., but the connection certainly can't hurt Colorado. In his new job, Abdalati is expected to ensure NASA's programs align with the White House's science objectives. But The Wall Street Journal is critical, claiming the administration's objectives in space are not clear, despite advances in technology. When the Journal rhetorically asks, "What's NASA up to these days?" It answers: "Not much."