TOPEKA, Kan. (KPR) – Governor Laura Kelly wants the new U.S. Space Command headquarters to be located in Kansas. In a news release, she said four Kansas communities have submitted proposals to become home to the headquarters of the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM), which is responsible for military operations in outer space. Derby, Kansas City, Leavenworth and Wichita have responded to requests for information from the federal government with proposed development sites in their communities. “I have directed my Cabinet to use all resources necessary to support the selection of Kansas as the headquarters for the U.S. Space Command,” Governor Kelly said. “Our strong teams of state and local economic development professionals have the tools available for the attraction, growth, and retention of the Space Command headquarters. Kansas is the perfect place for this facility, and we are prepared to do the work to get it here. We look forward to further discussion with the U.S. Air Force as it works toward a decision on the U.S. Space Command headquarters’ location.”
According to the news release, the four proposals address facility space requirements, workforce needs, proximity to a military installation and other vital elements necessary for the successful operation of the Space Command headquarters. “There’s no question Kansas is the best place in the nation for the U.S. Space Command headquarters,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Our central location, talented and educated workforce, existing military infrastructure, the advanced network of higher education institutions across our state – the list of advantages is unmatched. I am confident that Kansas is the most strategic choice for the Space Command headquarters’ location, and we look forward to supporting these four outstanding Kansas cities throughout the process.”
Aviation and aerospace history have deep roots in Kansas. President Dwight Eisenhower, who grew up in Abilene, launched the nation's first space program with the creation of NASA. Although it has less than 1% of the nation's population, Kansas has already produced four astronauts. One of them, Nick Hague, of Hoxie, returned from a mission onboard the International Space Station in October, 2019. And Wichita, known as the Air Capital of the World, has manufactured thousands of the world's most popular aircraft for both commercial and personal aviation. Cessna, Beech and other aircraft companies began in Wichita, the same city where Bill Lear built his first and later famous Learjet. Kansas also lays claim to Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto. Tombaugh was living on a farm with his parents in the central Kansas town of Burdett when he was hired to work as an intern at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was here, in 1930, that the 24-year-old Tombaugh discovered Pluto.
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