Houston Aerospace Industry Gets Reprieve With NASA Rocket Decision

Now that NASA has selected the rocket design for the next generation of human space travel, Houston's aerospace community is breathing a sigh of relief.


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Nasa proposed rocket artist rendering
Artist concept of SLS launching. (NASA)

Houston has been bleeding aerospace jobs for months. That’s in part due to the end of the Space Shuttle program, but also due to uncertainty about when or whether the Obama administration would green light a design for a new launch vehicle.

Bob Mitchell is president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

“We now have a rocket, or a vision of a rocket, to put the Orion on, which is the crew exploration vehicle that’ll carry us beyond low-earth orbit.”

Mitchell anticipates most of the design and construction for the rocket will take place in Alabama, with only about two hundred new jobs coming to Houston.

“From a workforce standpoint, it really stabilizes the people. They can take a deep breath now and know when they go to work the next day that there’s going to be a future in human space flight.”

Houston’s aerospace industry currently employs roughly fourteen thousand engineers.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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