NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) is located on over 1,700 acres in the Clear Lake area of Houston. It was first established in 1961, and later renamed in 1973 in honor of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native Texan. JSC is one of NASA’s largest research and development facilities and mission control for all U.S. manned space flight communications, including the International Space Station and Exploration Programs. From the early space exploration projects Gemini, Apollo and Skylab, came the historic moment when the first word from the moon was “Houston,” and deservedly so, as it took a 15,000-member team in Houston to develop, test and put into action what millions around the world watched on television in 1969. Since its inception, JSC continues to make significant advances in science, aeronautics, technology, engineering and medicine.
NASA’s long-term plans involve deep space exploration; and Texas and Houston will play critical roles along the way. JSC’s workforce represents 11,000 jobs, including civil servants and contractor personnel employed on-site or in facilities in the area. JSC has a huge economic impact on Houston and Texas with a total requested 2018 budget of $4.7 billion, which designates $1.4 billion for the International Space Station, $1.2 billion for the Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle, $731.9 million for the Commercial Crew Program, $210 million for Advanced Exploration Systems and $1.7 billion for the Commercial Cargo Program. The Mission Control Center (MCC) at Johnson Space Center directs all space missions, including international space station assembly flights. MCC also manages all activity on board the international space station. JSC serves as the lead NASA center for the International Space Station – a U.S.-led collaborative effort of 16 nations and the largest, most powerful, complex human facility to ever operate in space. JSC leads the way to deep space exploration by integrating science and engineering to develop how we travel, work, explore and live in deep space. Next stop, Mars!
Houston’s location in the south-central U.S. strategically places it equidistant from the nation’s major population centers – New York (1,631 miles) and Los Angeles (1,550 miles). Connection to major national and international locations is facilitated through Houston’s excellent transportation infrastructure, which includes the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, Ellington Field, Port Houston and the well-integrated mainline railroads and trucking system serving the area.
In the Houston MSA, an extensive freeway system spans 747 miles. The Grand Parkway’s extension linking Hwy 290 to I-45 and I-45 to Hwy 59 - segments F-1, F-2 and G on the map to the right - opened to traffic in the Last quarter of 2016, adding 38 miles of tolled roadway. Once the entire project is completed, the Grand Parkway will mark Houston’s third outer loop, improving Houston’s traffic flow immensely and thus allowing more flexibility when deciding where to work and where to live. Segments H, I-1 and I-2B are next up for expansion, with construction expected to be completed in 2021.
|STREET||FROM||TO||PROJECT DESCRIPTION||TOTAL||EST. DATE OF COMPLETION|
|US 290||IH 610||Mueschke Rd||Widen mainlanes and HOV lane through 13 separate projects||$4.7 billion||Winter 2018-2019|
|Gulf Freeway @ IH 610||IH 610 E||IH 45 N||Construct direct connector from IH 610 eastbound to I 45 Northbound||$44.2 million||October 2023|
|Pierce Elevated||IH 10||I 69||Remove existing Pierce Elevated and construct parkway connectors into CBD||$158.1 million||TBD, planning stage|
|Highway 288||US 59 Interchange||Pearland||Add toll lanes, 8 direct connectors at Beltway and I-610 interchanges||$815 million||Spring 2019|
|Post Oak Blvd||I-610||Richmond Ave||Reconstruct Post Oak Blvd to include dedicated bus lanes||$196 million||Spring/Summer 2019|
|Gulf Freeway, Galveston Co||Hwy 96||Deats Rd||Widen to 8 main lanes and 2 two-lane frontage roads||$121.7 million||November 2021|
|North Freeway, Harris Co||Crosstimbers||Airline||Reconstruct frontage roads||$6.3 million||TBD|
|US 59, Fort Bend Co||Hwy 99||FM 2919||Widen to 6 main lanes and two frontage road lanes through separate projects||$18.6 to $66 million||Late 2020|
|I-610 at I-69||I-610||I-610||Reconstruct IH 610 main lane bridge within the interchange at US 59 S||$46.7 million||TBD, bidding stage|
|Highway 225, Harris Co||Beltway 8||Battleground Rd||Improve illumination||$5.1 million||TBD, planning stage|
This NASA/Johnson Space Center overview is part of the annual 2018 Houston Economic Outlook. For the full report click here.
Sections covered in the full report include:
- Population Growth
- Employment Sector
- Business Climate
- Global Energy Capital
- Petrochemical & Plastics Industry
- Port Houston
- NASA/Johnson Space Center
- Mobility Infrastructure
- Airport System
- Texas Medical Center
- Biosciences & Biotechnology