When you think of space, you usually think of Florida and the NASA space center and the countless number of rockets blasting off we've watched through the years.

Colorado is definitely not one of the places that come to mind when you think about space exploration, but it should be.

Colorado leads the nation in the number of aerospace employees per capita with just under 200,000. NASA learned that private companies can help get into space and make it more cost-effective as well.

Take the Sierra Nevada Corporation for example. They are the Colorado company, based in Louisville,  that won the contract from NASA to take cargo to the International Space Station and, like the shuttle missions, land on a runway when it returns.

Beginning in 2021 they will fly six missions for NASA and are hoping to complete what they are calling the "Lunar Gateway" which will orbit the moon and house astronauts much like the space station in orbit around the earth.

We've come a long way from the days of Gemini and Apollo, haven't we?