NASA report says it has big economic impact on Florida

Space agency economic output in Florida: $5.9 billion

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA - MAY 20: Workers freshen up the paint on the NASA logo on the Vehicle Assembly Building before the arrival of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley at the Kennedy Space Center on May 20, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The astronauts are scheduled to arrive today for the May 27th flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. They will be the first people since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 to be launched into space from the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Joe Raedle, 2020 Getty Images)

It’s official: NASA brings big bucks to the state of Florida.

On Friday, the agency released its first-ever agency wide economic impact report.

According to the report, 43 states receive an economic impact of more than $10 million. Of those 43 states, eight have an economic impact of $1 billion or more, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.

In Florida, NASA’s economic output was $5.9 billion. The agency employs 33,903 people here.

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The other top states to benefit from NASA business are California, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama and Colorado.

The report shows through all NASA activities, the agency generated more than $64.3 billion in total economic output during fiscal year 2019, supported more than 312,000 jobs nationwide, and generated an estimated $7 billion in federal, state, and local taxes throughout the United States.

NASA’s 2019 fiscal year budget was $21.5 billion.

“With an investment of just one-half of 1% of the federal budget, NASA generates significant total economic output annually. 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,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a press release.

Bridenstine is in the home stretch of trying to secure Congress' approval of NASA’s 2021 fiscal year budget that includes a 12% increase – $3.2 billion of which is to pay for the human landing system, a critical part of the Artemis mission to land the first woman on the moon by 2024.

Not surprisingly, the report highlighted the monetary value of NASA’s Moon to Mars program which includes the Orion crew capsule being built at Kennedy Space Center for Artemis.

Nationwide, the program’s spending supports more than $14 billion in total economic output and generates an estimated $1.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.

In Florida, that breaks down to $2 billion and 10,870 jobs.

Florida is clearly banking on the Artemis program moving forward. In 2021, the first uncrewed test flight of the SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule will launch on a month-long mission around the moon. Following that will be the Artemis II test flight with astronauts and then Artemis III which will land astronauts on the moon.