(The Center Square) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) generated an estimated $64.3 billion in economic output across the nation last year, according to a study commissioned by the agency.
NASA’s direct and indirect activities contributed to over 312,000 jobs nationwide, generating an estimated $7 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues, according to the report, which was conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement.
“In this new era of human spaceflight, NASA is contributing to economies locally and nationally, fueling growth in industries that will define the future, and supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in America,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement last week.
Bridenstine argued that the study reinforces that the agency is worth American taxpayers’ investment.
“With an investment of just one-half of 1 percent of the federal budget, NASA generates significant total economic output annually,” he said. “This study confirms, and puts numbers, to what we have long understood – that taxpayer investment in America’s space program yields tremendous returns that strengthen our nation on several fronts – a stronger economy, advances in science and technology, and improvements to humanity.”
Forty-three states in the country had an estimated economic impact of more than $10 million, according to the study. Eight states out of those 43 had an economic impact that’s more than $1 billion.
In Colorado, NASA contributed $4.5 billion in economic output to the state’s economy and supported more than 22,800 jobs via “procurement spending.” In Florida, NASA contributed $5.9 billion in economic output and supported over 33,000 jobs. In Texas, the agency contributed $8.7 billion in economic output and supported over 40,000 jobs in the state.
Nationwide, the Artemis program, the agency’s Moon to Mars effort, supported 69,000 jobs and $14 billion in economic output, along with an estimated $1.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.
The study said that the Artemis program provides about 22 percent of NASA’s total economic impact.
Michael McGrady is a Center Square contributor