Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Economic Development


NASA Glenn is located at Lewis Field, a 300-acre site adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. NASA Glenn’s physical plant includes more than 150 buildings that contain a unique collection of world-class laboratories and test facilities. Since the groundbreaking for the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (forerunner to NASA) on January 23, 1941, more than $680 million has been invested in NASA Glenn’s physical plant. The estimated replacement cost is approximately $2.6 billion. The Lewis Field site and its Plum Brook Station, located in Sandusky, Ohio, is 50 miles west of Cleveland, each host large-scale facilities that are uniquely and specifically designed to test aviation and spaceflight hardware.

During the period covered in this report, NASA Glenn has several leadership roles that are critical to programs and projects in all of NASA’s missions: Exploration, Science, Space Operation, and Aeronautics Research. Within the Human Exploration & Operations mission portfolio NASA Glenn provided engineering and technical services and performed a variety of analyses and integration tasks to support development of the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle; led aspects of the Human Research Program, which performs research in support of astronaut health; developed next-generation systems that support humans reaching farther into space, and initiated projects within the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, which is contributing technological advancements for future robotic and human spaceflight missions beyond low Earth orbit. NASA Glenn is leading AES projects in spacecraft fire safety, advanced modular power systems, and power, avionics, software, and communication technologies for extra-vehicular activity applications.

NASA Glenn’s Science mission support included managing the Radioisotope Power Systems Program and developing associated technologies; co-managing (with the Department of Energy) the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) project; managing the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program and developing its associated technologies including propulsion systems (e.g. solar electric propulsion), spacecraft bus (e.g. power, extreme environments), sample return, and re-entry; developing new scientific instruments and mission concepts for planetary surfaces (e.g. Venus, Mars) and Earth science (e.g. fresh water); and supporting NASA Headquarters with assessments and panel membership for Planetary Science which includes high altitude balloon research, technology/tools coordination, and science advisory groups.

In support of the Aeronautics mission, NASA Glenn continues to build on its world-class aeronautics’ heritage through its leadership of a wide variety of fundamental research in subsonic, supersonic, and rotary aircraft, and through its program management efforts to support flight in any atmosphere at any speed and the enhancement of aviation safety. A vast array of research and technologies in support of these areas is performed by NASA Glenn.

The report structure is as follows: Sections A and B provides an introduction and background for this report. Section C is an economic overview of NASA Glenn, including information related to employment and occupations, employee residences, payroll, expenditures, awards to academia and other institutions, revenues, and taxes paid by NASA Glenn employees. Section D provides estimates of the economic impact generated by NASA Glenn for an eight-county Northeast Ohio region and the state of Ohio during FY 2013. This report is an update of several earlier studies in which NASA Glenn’s economic impact on Northeast Ohio and Ohio was estimated.