Noting that, Brookings writes of Colorado that "innovation [will be] an even more central determinant of business and industry success in the space economy as the industry faces what is perhaps the most demanding period in its history."
To that end, the Institution has suggested that Colorado create an innovation vouchers program for small and medium-sized companies to support R&D efforts; start to pull away from its heavy dependence on government space contracts; step up educational efforts to inject new blood into an aging technical workforce; push for more companies to share more brainpower to develop new programs, products and ambitious initiatives; and promote more private-sector involvement in the industry from the likes of supply-chain players and competitors.
Read MoreWhy location matters to your portfolio
Colorado also would be wise to more aggressively go after space-based services tied to communications, Earth-sensing and geolocation activities and products. That means moving into cybersecurity, geospatial activities, robotics, advanced materials, energy management, drones and even asteroid mining.
As Marco Caceres, a space industry analyst with the Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia, said: "There's a lot of potential out there."
That assessment nicely ties in with one of the aerospace industry's oldest sayings: "It's always sunny in space."
—By Bob Diddlebock, special to CNBC.com