The letter from House members calling on the White House for a “vision and timeline” for space exploration looks positively mild compared to what they’re asking for in Colorado. In a resolution passed by the Colorado Legislature designating Monday as “Colorado Aerospace Day,” members criticized the federal government for ceding the lead in human spaceflight. “At the dawn of the space age, there were two nations that could put people into space — the United States and the Soviet Union,” the resolution states. “Today there are still two nations that can put people into space, but the United States is no longer one of them.”
In the resolution, which also commends the Colorado Space Business Roundtable for forming a chapter of Citizens for Space Exploration, legislators call on the federal government to accelerate human spaceflight development efforts, including “regaining the ability of the United States to deliver persons and cargo to space by 2015.” The resolution doesn’t specify how to do that, but does go on to call on NASA to commit to “sending persons to destinations such as the moon, Lagrange points, asteroids, and Mars within this decade or as soon as technologically possible.” NASA’s current plans call for the first crewed flight of its Orion spacecraft, launched on a Space Launch System rocket, in 2021 on a mission in cislunar space, which would presumably not meet the “this decade” goal of the resolution.