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Houston Joins Apollo 50 Mission to the 2019 Paris Air Show

Published Jun 17, 2019 by A.J. Mistretta

Local economic development coalition looks to leverage regional infrastructure, industry and academic leadership for global growth at the world’s largest aviation and aerospace industry event

Houston Spaceport at Ellington
Houston Spaceport at Ellington Field

HOUSTON, TX— One of the most prominent cities on the map of American aviation—Houston, Texas—will invoke the spirit of the Apollo space program to build its economic development brand this month on the aerospace industry’s biggest international stage.

Representing a coalition of regional business, infrastructure and education leaders, Houston is a featured partner of “Apollo 50: America’s Invitation to Partnership at the 2019 Paris Air Show,” part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) campaign commemorating the golden anniversary this summer of man’s first steps on the Moon and the hundreds of thousands of aerospace professionals who made it possible. The Paris Air Show is June 17-23.

Six Houston partners are featured under Houston’s Paris Air Show promotional banner Space City: The Gateway to Innovation:

  • The Greater Houston Partnership, the region’s premier business organization representing 11 counties and more than 1,000-member companies, is leading the delegation
  • Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, one of the agency’s largest R&D facilities 
  • Houston Spaceport at Ellington Field (EFD) one of the nation’s 10 licensed commercial spaceports
  • Rice University’s Rice Space Institute, which has helped to establish the university’s international reputation in all areas of space research
  • SpaceCom, the Space Commerce Conference and Exposition, an annual two-day conference that connects NASA technology with the private sector to fuel future innovation

“As an anchor NASA community for generations, Houston deeply holds innovation, exploration and discovery as core values for economic development,” said Horacio Licon, Vice President of International Investment & Trade at the Greater Houston Partnership. “While we celebrate an incredible historic milestone, we hope to remind the world that Houston continues to lead in innovation that solves the world’s most complex problems. Our coalition of leading organizations brings distinct assets that add up to a collective advantage in competing for aerospace business at Le Bourget.”

On-site at the Paris Air Show, Houston will present and participate in a schedule of high-profile Apollo 50 thought-leadership and hospitality events to engage and educate global industry decision-makers and influencers. Notably, the city group will host “Houston: Space City & The Gateway to Innovation,” an executive briefing on June 19. The event will feature keynote remarks by former Space Shuttle astronaut, International Space Station Commander and current Houston-based venture capitalist, Timothy Kopra. 

Kopra will discuss Houston’s monumental achievements and how the city is preparing to pioneer the next phase of space exploration. A panel discussion will follow, addressing topics that include educating the next generation of engineers and explorers, the intersection of NASA technology and the private sector, and the city’s landmark space tourism sites. 

Apollo 50 Paris is a week-long series of high-profile activities and events to inspire investment in innovation and exploration and help position U.S. industry as every investor’s top-of-mind partner. It is presented by the show’s USA Partnership Pavilion, and produced by longtime Pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide Inc.

“The Apollo 50 Paris program is a perfect fit for Houston to showcase our community of aerospace professionals, the infrastructure that supports them now and the vision for extending our leadership as the 21st Century’s ‘Space City’,” said Licon. “We’re glad to work with Kallman Worldwide to build the Houston brand of aviation and aerospace at the 2019 Paris Air Show.”

Houston is: 

  • Home to nearly 350,000 educated millennials. 
  • The location of 240,000 STEM professionals; 233,000 employed in digital technology
  • One of only a few cities in the U.S with two international airports, now offering service to more than 180 non-stop domestic and international destinations 
  • Home to over 250 aerospace and aviation related firms.
  • A headquarters city with over 700,000 corporate professionals (administrative, accounting, finance, legal, etc.)
  • The location of total trade in aircraft, spacecraft, and parts totaling $2 billion in ’18. 
  • The site of Johnson Space Center, established in 1961, which occupies over 1,620 acres 28 miles southeast of downtown Houston. JSC attracts the nation’s best high-tech professionals and is an aerospace hub and transfer site for NASA-developed technology.
  • Home to Space Center Houston, Johnson Space Center’s official visitor’s center, generates annually $73 million economic impact, 900 jobs and $36 million in personal income annually.



A.J. Mistretta            

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