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Aerospace

For over 60 years, the Houston region has been known globally as the hub for Space exploration. Home to NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), the center has provided mission control and astronaut training for every U.S. crewed spaceflight – Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, International Space Station and now Artemis. Building upon that in-depth experience and knowledge base, Space City is well positioned for the next 60 years to continue to develop its aerospace ecosystem within the “New Space Economy,” attracting private investors, well-established organizations and start-ups to invest and contribute to Space exploration. Organizations such as Intuitive Machines, Axiom Space, Collins Aerospace and Venus Aerospace call the Houston Spaceport home, where they are setting new levels of technological innovations and scientific discoveries. 

Photo Caption: Houston headquartered Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lander touched down in the Moon’s south polar region. This was the United States’ first lunar landing since
Apollo 1.

Confirming Texas’s future in the New Space Economy

In March of 2023, state Rep. Greg Bonnen, filed legislation known as TX HB3447 creating the first Texas Space Commission. Upon approval, and as part of the state’s biennial budget process, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on the state legislature to provide $350 million to fund the Texas Space Commission for the next two years. Two entities were created: The Texas Space Commission and the Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium (TARSEC). The Texas Space Commission will work to strengthen Texas’ proven leadership in aerospace activity by promoting innovation in Space exploration and expansion of Aerospace opportunities within the New Space Economy. Of the initial $350 million dollars, $200 million were identified for the building of the Texas A&M Space Institute located adjacent to NASA JSC in Houston.   

a few state stakeholders celebrating the Texas Space Commission Annoucement

Aerospace Ecosystem

Many of Houston’s resources within the Space Community are in close proximity to one another. This list includes Houston Spaceport, NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA JSC Exploration Park, Texas A&M Space Institute and Space Center Houston. All locations are close to critical transportation infrastructure, including railways, highways, waterways and airports. 

  

500+

Space, Aviation, and Aerospace-Related Firms and Institutions

23,000+

Aerospace and Aviation-Related Professionals

2

International Airports

1

FAA-Licensed Commercial Spaceport

1

Largest Cluster of Space Research and Technology

NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC)

"Our goal at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for the next 60 years is to make Texas a global hub of human exploration, such that any country or entity that desires to work in low earth orbit, around the moon, on the surface, further in the cosmos, can begin their next giant leap right here in Space City." 

- Vanessa Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center

Since NASA established the Johnson Space Center in Houston more than 50 years ago, Texas has served as the world’s hub for human space exploration. NASA’s continued operations, operating the International Space Station and preparing to send humans to the Moon and Mars, have spurred a commercial space economy that is creating jobs and bringing new and exciting businesses to our state.

Each year, NASA spends more than $2.5 billion in Texas. This includes $442 million spent with small businesses, $105 million with women-owned businesses, $67 million with Nonprofits and Universities, $64 million with Hispanic owned businesses, $34 million with veteran owned businesses, and $58 million with minority owned businesses. Nationally, NASA’s missions lead to $71 billion in annual spending and create more than 339,000 jobs.

NASA’s lead center for:

  • Life sciences research and application
  • Astronaut selection and training
  • Spaceflight Mission Control and ISS operations
  • Spaceflight program management
  • Large-scale spacecraft development
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence

Step inside and explore more about NASA Johnson Space Center Front Door

1,700+ Acres

Size of JSC Campus

10,000+

Total Employees

100+

Active Astronauts and Astronauts in Training

$5.35 Billion

Annual Budget

NASA Exploration Park at JSC

240-acre development adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center. 

  • American Center of Manufacturing and Innovation (ACMI), exclusive developer of 207 acres for the next generation of human spaceflight innovation. 
  • Home to the Texas A&M Space Institute, a facility dedicated to human spaceflight research that includes the world's largest climate-controlled lunar and Mars scape. 

The Houston Spaceport - A Center For Collaboration and Innovation

For nearly a decade, the Houston Spaceport has been a campus where ideas and technology come together to solve critical problems at the cutting edge of human achievement. 

It starts with its location - in the country’s fourth largest city, making it unique among other federally licensed spaceports offering unprecedented access to a thriving Aerospace community. As the world’s first truly urban commercial Spaceport, Houston Spaceport offers unmatched business opportunities for Aerospace and Aviation companies of any size. The Spaceport is on the southeast side of Ellington Airport, a mixed-use, general aviation airport with nearly 400 acres of limitless potential for expansion and development. 

To date, the Houston Spaceport has hosted some of the most groundbreaking achievements in Aerospace and Aviation, including: 

  • Designing, building, and testing the world’s first successful commercial lunar lander (Intuitive Machines). 

  • The world’s first detonation of room temperature storable liquid fuels in a rotating detonation rocket engine (Venus Aerospace)

  • Construction of the world’s first and only commercial space station assembly facility (Axiom Space).  

  • Designing and testing the world’s first commercially available EVA suit (Collins Aerospace)

We have a proven track record of making the leasing process easy and effective: 

  • ZERO property taxes on ground leases.   
  • Attractive incentive packages tailored to your business’s specific needs.   

  • The permit process is simple and fast because the Houston Spaceport is a permit issuer (Houston Airport System).   

  • Shovel-ready sites allow tenants to build in any configuration they require.   

156

Developed Acres

400

Build-to-Suit Acres

53,000 square feet

Office and Lab Space

18 miles

Proximity to Downtown

Notable Employers
Industry Partners

Aerospace Talent Pipeline

In the Houston region, leading universities and colleges serve as a robust pipeline for producing top talent within the Aerospace industry, ensuring our area has a strong workforce for now and in the future. Students have access to internships and mentorships where they gain real-world experiences while companies gain new perspectives on how to view problems and discover affordable solutions to research and development (R&D) resources. 

The Houston region’s universities and colleges offer a diverse range of Aerospace-related programs focused on supporting and developing the region’s workforce. To learn about the institutions, click on each logo to access the school’s website. Below each logo is a link to an example of their programs and what makes that institution effective in ensuring the Houston region's talent pipeline. 

multiple logos representing higher education institutions in Houston

Need more information about becoming a member of Houston's Aerospace Ecosystem?

How we can help:

  • Assist in site selection analysis
  • Assist in evaluating and applying for incentives
  • Aid in the permitting process
  • Provide data on key business facilities
  • Facilitate and foster key introductions
Kevin Tipton
Senior Director, Aviation & Aerospace
Economic Development
E
ktipton@houston.org
P
713-844-3636
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