The global aerospace and defense company has developed technology for NASA for decades, including creating the radio Neil Armstrong used to broadcast his words from the moon in 1969, and more recently developing the wheels used to align the James Webb telescope.
The new 120,000-square-foot facility at 2555 Atlantis Shuttle St., Houston, will create about 300 jobs and will support the development of a next-generation space suit made for working outside the International Space Station and on the moon. Collins is also developing a universal waste management system—otherwise known as a space toilet—that is currently being used on the ISS.
“It is exciting to be here to celebrate not only the new jobs that this is bringing to Houston but the continued American leadership in space and the continued leadership of the city of Houston,” Sen. Ted Cruz said in a speech during the event.
Collins Aerospace refers to the suit as the “world’s smallest spacecraft” due to it containing life support components such as oxygen supply, electrical power, hydration and communication capabilities.
“It is an exciting time in the space industry,” Collins Aerospace President Phil Jasper said. “We're opening this incredible facility, which will develop and test many of the systems and solutions that will serve a critical role in the future of space exploration.”
The Houston Spaceport is a center for private and commercial space launches and innovation in space technology. Other companies competing with Collins in the production of advanced space technology include Axiom Space and Intuitive Machines, which is working to create the first commercial lunar lander.
Axiom Space aims to construct the world’s first commercial space station at its new 400,000-square-foot headquarters currently under construction. The company also plans to house engineering operations at the now-closed Fry’s Electronics building in Webster.
“Our spaceport has unlimited potential for job creation and economic impact,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “It is through the innovative and creative minds at work here that Houston will continue to make history.”