Things are looking up for employees of the Johnson Space Center with NASA making national headlines in recent weeks. Much of the buzz focuses on commercial space flight, but those working close to JSC are more excited than ever for local space employees.
“We have more funding currently this year than we've ever, ever had in the history of NASA,” says Bob Mitchell, president of the Houston Bay Area Economic Partnership. “We have a new administrator who is exciting and has a vision. We also have a new center director.”
Mitchell insists not all was lost after the shuttle program shutdown.
“There's still 11,000 employees here working in the space program,” he says. “It's not like we shut the doors. We're continuing to do design and development on the Orion as well as the space launch system, and also flying the International Space Station which we do 24 hours a day right here at the Johnson Space Center.”
Former NASA workers have branched off and started new companies.
“One in particular here in the Houston area is NanoRacks, they fly experiments to the International Space Station and bring them back for the companies that are doing the research,” says Mitchell. “We also have a small company called Alpha Space which is in the process of doing the same thing.”