Comptroller visits Johnson Space Center, announces institution's large economic impact

A look at impact of JSC, Space Center Houston by the numbers

Rose-Ann Aragon reporting.

HOUSTON – The Texas comptroller made a visit to the Johnson Space Center to announce the Texas institution's large economic impact.

State Comptroller Glenn Hegar stood alongside JSC Director Mark Geyer as Hegar announced the numbers reflecting JSC's impact on Space City and the Lone Star State.

"In 2018 alone, JSC spent more than $180 million with 163 small Texas businesses, and today more than 50 companies are doing research and development," Hegar said. "NASA's history is intertwined with Texas' history, grit and can-do spirit, and NASA's future in Texas will be crucial in building tomorrow's Texas economy.

"JSC is an integral part of the Gulf Coast community, but the impacts of the center's work can be found throughout the Lone Star State," Hegar said. "In addition to the important contributions in aerospace and STEM-related sectors, JSC plays a critical role in fields as diverse as biomedical research, agriculture, education, tourism and a host of other business activities in Texas' Gulf Coast and the state as a whole."

JSC's impact by the numbers:

  • $4.7 billion -- The impact on the Texas economy.
  • 52,000+ -- Jobs that the JSC supports.
  • 11,000+ -- People that NASA's Texas operations employs directly as employees or through contracted workers in 2018.
  • 96% -- Workers who held at least a bachelor's degree.
  • 43% -- Workers who held at least a master's degree or higher.
  • Three -- Facilities that JSC operates from.
  • 1,700 -- Acres of JSC property.
  • $31.1 million -- Money in grants to Texas public and private universities, as well as affiliated research organizations in 2018.
  • $375 million in grants to Texas institutions since 2010.
  • $189 million in JSC spending which directly supported 163 small businesses.
  • 147 -- documentaries which NASA worked on.

Hegar also tipped his hat to the team who worked on Apollo 11, which made the historic lunar landing mission a success in 1969.

"It was an effort for peace and security and in this journey, we would see a growth in science, knowledge for all people the formation of new companies and thousands of jobs," Hegar said.

NASA also plays a role in the Texas film industry. In 2018, NASA worked on more than 174 documentaries, 58 notable features and 15 feature films. JSC facilities provided a backdrop for film projects such as "Apollo 13," "Space Cowboys," "First Man" and "The Martian."

Hegar also mentioned that Space Center Houston also brought in a significant amount of money as one of the state's top tourist attractions.

Space Center Houston by the numbers:

  • 1.1 million -- Visitors in 2018.
  • 750,000 -- Visitors who are from out of state.
  • $150 million -- Spent by out-of-state visitors annually.

As for JSD, with more than 40 active astronauts and 11 astronaut candidates, at least by the numbers, the economic promise of Space City is likely to be bright.