NASA’s Contribution to California’s Economy: $17.7 Billion

A P3 Navy aircraft with Hangar One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. (Copyright 2008: Douglas Messier)

NASA contributes $3.6 billion in direct contracts and an additional $14.1 billion in in-direct jobs to the Golden State through its three field centers, according to the California Space Authority. The agency directly employs more than 7,100 with an annual payroll in excess of $900 million.

The statistics are included in a points paper on NASA that CSA issued for 2011 California Space Week Washington DC, a lobbying effort taking place on Capitol Hill this week. The paper is designed to instruct participants in what to say when visiting Congressional offices.

The document urges full funding for NASA at the proposed $18.7 billion level. It also recommends full support for NASA’s HLV, Multiply-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion), CCDev and COTS programs in accordance with the authorization act signed into law last year. CSA also opposes a proposed $298 million cut in the agency’s operations budget to pay for police salaries.

The full paper is reproduced below.


March 2011

California Only State with 3 NASA Centers (of 10 nationwide):

– Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) – Pasadena – Mars rovers and other robotic exploration of the solar system with 20 active spacecraft and 9 instruments

– Ames Research Center (ARC) – Mountain View – small satellites, climate change research, thermal protection systems, aviation operations systems, astrobiology, innovative partnerships

– Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) – Edwards AFB – research and testing of high performance aircraft and spacecraft; airborne science missions

NASA Contracts Contribute Significantly to State’s Economy:

– Total: $3.6 B in direct contracts (FY10)
– Aerospace multiplier applied to indirect jobs: total $14.1 B

NASA Centers in CA Bring Highly Skilled, High Salary Jobs to State:

– Total NASA jobs exceed 7,100 and annual payroll exceeds $900 M; NASA programs inspire students to pursue STEM education
– CSA and its members oppose House amendment to reduce $298 from Broad Agency Support
– CSA and its members support continued operation of NASA centers and capabilities in CA

President’s Budget Request for FY 2012: $18.7 B

– Provides stable NASA budget through FY 2016.
– Completes Space Shuttle program.
– Continues International Space Station, creates new opportunities in CA for commercial space sector and funds new space technology investments.
– Continues development of Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) for use with Space Launch System (SLS) consistent with the funding level provided in the Authorization Act.
– Continues planning of heavy-lift launch vehicle.
– Centralizes development of new space technologies for exploration, scientific discovery.
– Supports small business through increased SBIR awards.
– Funds essential STEM education programs.

Requested Congressional Action:

– Support funding consistent with NASA Authorization Act of 2010, supported by entire U.S. aerospace industry.
– Support full funding for NASA in FY 2012 – $18.7 B.
– Support space science funding to include Mars Science Laboratory, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NPOESS Preparatory Project, Radiation Belt Storm Probes.
– Support space technology budget.
– Support Commercial Cargo Resupply Service program and Commercial Crew Development program consistent with the funding level provided in the Authorization Act.
– Support investment for Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System to support initial operations by December 31, 2016, consistent with the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.
– Support educational funding.