NASA contributed $4.5B in economic output to Colorado's economy last year

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contributed $4.5 billion in economic output to Colorado’s economy last year, according to a recent economic impact study.

NASA’s study, released Friday, 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, noting that the agency receives “just one-half of 1% of the federal budget.”

Bridenstine said the study shows “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.”

The study found that NASA supports more than 22,800 jobs in Colorado via “procurement spending.”

“Nearly all of the jobs supported throughout the state economy by NASA are due to its procurement spending,” the study said.

Colorado’s state and local governments accrued over $141 million in tax revenues generated by the economic activity last year, the study added.

NASA’s Artemis mission, the agency’s Moon-to-Mars effort, supported over 12,400 jobs and contributed $2.6 billion in economic output in Colorado, according to the study.

Nationally, NASA supported 312,623 jobs and contributed $64.3 billion in economic output in 2019, according to the study.

While NASA does not have a major facility located in Colorado, the state has “the nation’s second-largest aerospace economy,” according to the Colorado Space Coalition. NASA also partners with Colorado businesses and universities on research and development projects.

Colorado’s elected officials have been lobbying for U.S. Space Command’s permanent headquarters to be established in the state. U.S. Space Command has been temporarily headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs since it was reestablished last year.

Colorado is also home to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, and Schriever Air Force Base.

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