HAS Director Mario Diaz spoke during a Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership meeting June 2 about the future of the spaceport.
Diaz ended his speech talking about the future of the EDGE Center, which is part of the Houston Aerospace Support Center, one of the first facilities to open at the spaceport. Today, San Jacinto College students use the EDGE Center to learn technician and other skills related to the aerospace industry.
The vision is to create an Advanced EDGE Training Center, a larger facility in the middle of Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport. The new center would provide additional ways for students to learn aerospace-related jobs, Diaz said.
When the spaceport was first built, Houston officials realized a trained workforce was crucial for companies to choose Houston as where they should develop. That thought is what is promoting the idea for a larger training center, Diaz said.
“[When creating the spaceport,] we didn’t even know where to start, but we understood that that was foundational,” Diaz said.
In addition to a new EDGE Center, an unnamed development will be announced later this month. The 125,000-square-foot aerospace development will result in the creation of 250 jobs, Diaz said.
Additionally, Axiom Space will create 800 jobs in over 400,000 square feet of space in Phase 1, and Collins Aerospace will create 250 jobs in a 116,000-square-foot facility, also in Phase 1, Diaz said.
In total, the three developments will add about 1,500 jobs to the area, considering Axiom already employs 200. Those jobs will result in more business coming to the Clear Lake area. Restaurants could even open in the spaceport itself, he said.
“More houses, more car sales, more Starbucks,” Diaz said.
In the long-term future, Diaz sees the Houston Spaceport as a place where rockets and engines are manufactured and eventually launched. At the spaceport, companies could one day manufacture satellites that will orbit the moon and act as the communication relay between the moon and Earth, Diaz said.
Additionally, hypersonic flights will eventually be possible from the spaceport, delivering passengers to other continents in mere hours, Diaz said.
“Houston is the center, and we’re pulling people in,” he said.