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NASA's Economic Impact on Florida and the Space Coast Is Billions

"Our mission is to provide continuous access to space from Earth’s premier spaceport through creativity and innovation." - Nasa
"Our mission is to provide continuous access to space from Earth’s premier spaceport through creativity and innovation." - Nasa

Launches of rockets from Florida's Kennedy Space Center pique the public's curiosity about the United States' space program. The question is, how exactly do the Space Coast and the communities around Kennedy affect the space program and the workers there?

The Kennedy Economic Impact Report for Fiscal Year 2021 (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021) was just issued, and it contains information on the economic impact of the center's spaceport on Brevard County and the state of Florida. Every two years, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) of the center releases this report.

According to Center Director Janet Petro, "launching rockets and exploring space is no longer a government-only endeavor." Kennedy Spaceport is a multi-user facility with around 250 partnership agreements and over 90 commercial sector partners. NASA is setting the standard for developing a low-Earth orbit commercial market and making space accessible to all, which has a huge positive economic impact on Earth.

Kennedy's economic impact assessment reveals that subsequent rounds of spending by workers and suppliers resulted in 27,004 employment in Florida for the spaceport's 12,312 employees.

"Kennedy remained a significant contributor to the county and its environs even during the pandemic," stated Matthew Wilson, the OCFO's Business Services and Cost Assessment Branch Supervisor. For instance, Florida's economy benefited directly from spaceport activities, which generated $2.89 billion in sales. In the end, every dollar spent at Kennedy returned $1.82 to the state of Florida's GDP.

Kennedy earns $2.03 billion from his labor, translating into a $5.25 billion economic output in Florida. Labor and non-labor resources are included in a portion of the $5.25 billion sales activity as compensation for the center's successful operations. Florida's economy directly benefited in FY2021 with a $1.51 billion increase in gross domestic product. After accounting for other effects, Florida's economy received a total of $2.77 billion from the spaceport.

Wilson stated, "We are definitely felt here on the Space Coast."

Even in difficult circumstances, commercial launch providers experienced a significant growth surge between 2019 and 2021, adding 2,744 new jobs to their workforce.

According to Wilson, the center's resilience and growth have not changed since the previous assessment. For instance, the average wage rose from $70,000 in 2019 to the current $78,000, which reflects gains for the entire country of the United States, Brevard County, the spaceport, and the state of Florida. "The center's growth is astounding. We have a number of important collaborations, and the center is essential to our growth, according to Wilson.

Kennedy creates additional value through its temporary labor force, which comprises employees from Boeing, Florida Power & Light, Blue Origin, SpaceX, and construction companies, among other companies operating beyond the center's limits.

Wilson stated, "This report is a great indicator of the health of our center and the growth of our economy, so it is important to release it." "Our economy is strong and extends beyond Kennedy and Brevard County."

The economic department at Florida Institute of Technology generated the study by calculating the economic impact using data from the center.

Download the economic impact scorecard -

Download PDF • 4.08MB


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