Press Release

Commercial Crew Program Would Create Over 5,000 Direct Jobs Across the United States, Industry Survey Reveals

By SpaceRef Editor
September 16, 2009
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Commercial Crew Program Would Create Over 5,000 Direct Jobs Across the United States, Industry Survey Reveals

Washington, DC – September 15, 2009 – An industry survey has revealed that over 5,000 direct jobs, including 1,700 jobs in Florida, would be created over the next five years if the $2.5 billion Commercial Crew Program proposed by the White House Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee (also known as the Augustine Committee) moves forward. A Commercial Crew program would support full utilization of the Space Station, reduce U.S. reliance on Russia to launch American astronauts, and allow NASA to focus its resources on exploration beyond low-Earth-orbit (LEO).

The industry survey tallied direct jobs created by a combination of government and private investment, and concluded the program would primarily result in high-tech jobs in engineering and manufacturing in areas such as vehicle design, hardware manufacturing, launch vehicle integration, launch operations, and infrastructure development. In particular, the survey showed that a Commercial Crew Program would create 1,700 jobs in Florida, one of the areas impacted by the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet.

The industry survey included companies, such as United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin), Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX, and others, that have all built space hardware and are potential participants in a competitive Commercial Crew Program, which would feature multiple winners including both smaller and larger aerospace companies. Based on the current location of commercial spaceflight facilities, states where jobs would likely be created include Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia.

Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, added, “The alternative to creating jobs with a Commercial Crew Program is to simply send funds to Russia to support jobs there instead. NASA is already purchasing seats on Russian Soyuz vehicles, at the price of $51 million per seat, to send our astronauts to the Space Station after the Space Shuttle retires in 2011. Without the domestic competitive pressure of a Commercial Crew program, Russia would be free to continue increasing the per-seat prices that it charges the United States.”

Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, stated, “In addition to the projected 5,000 direct jobs, Commercial Crew will also create thousands of indirect and induced jobs, including those from local businesses due to the presence of the Commercial Crew engineers and technicians in their communities. We also expect an increase in the number of jobs in the construction and processing of space payloads, and commercial providers will be able to leverage additional markets to create jobs above and beyond those directly tied to NASA missions. Further, since about 20,000 people travel to Florida’s Space Coast for every Shuttle launch, a thriving Commercial Crew industry would also reduce impacts to local tourism from the retirement of the space shuttle. Commercial Crew will clearly be a strong engine for economic growth.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. Commercial Spaceflight Federation member organizations include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, and spaceports. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is governed by a board of directors, composed of the member companies’ CEO-level officers and entrepreneurs. For more information please contact Executive Director John Gedmark at 202.349.1121 or visit

SpaceRef staff editor.