50-Acre Louisiana Space Campus Coming to New Orleans East

One of the buildings at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans Louisiana. Photo Credit: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the State of Louisiana signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to explore the creation of the Louisiana Space Campus, a 50-acre business park located on NASA’s 829-acre property in New Orleans East.

“This year, as we celebrate 60 years of NASA’s operation of the Michoud Assembly Facility, we proudly announce a new chapter in this site’s history,” Gov. Edwards said. “We are excited about partnering with NASA for the development of the Louisiana Space Campus, and we look forward to the future tenants who would locate here. From the days of the Apollo missions to the development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, we have long looked to Michoud for a glimpse of our destiny in space. The Louisiana Space Campus will help us fulfill that destiny.”

The Louisiana Space Campus will target commercial office development for current tenants of the Michoud Assembly Facility, which hosts tenants such as Boeing, which is assembling the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis rocket, and Lockheed Martin, which is developing the Orion crew capsule. While the Louisiana Space Campus would not be limited to aerospace activity, businesses in that sector would be encouraged to explore opportunities at the new campus. NASA will also evaluate any potential tenants to ensure there are no security or environmental concerns.

“NASA is excited to enter into this MOU with the State of Louisiana to explore the concept of the Louisiana Space Campus,” said Director Robert Champion of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. “For 60 years, NASA has enjoyed a great partnership with Louisiana that has propelled the success of our nation to launch humans into space. This MOU represents an opportunity to further strengthen that partnership as the work at MAF moves us a step closer to landing the first woman and next man on the moon.”

According to a press release sent by Gov. Edwards, development at the Louisiana Space Campus would be similar to the Water Campus that is located between LSU’s main campus and downtown Baton Rouge. That 35-acre development has resulted in more than $100 million in public and private investment during its first phase. Mayor LaToya Cantrell lauded the agreement as an important opportunity for New Orleans East and the city as a whole.

“Right here in New Orleans at the Michoud Assembly Facility, the rockets to take Americans into outer space are now being built, and will continue to be built, to transport them to Mars. This agreement with further drive transformative development in New Orleans East, which is already becoming a major hub for STEM in our city,” Mayor Cantrell said. “With continued partnership from the State, a Louisiana Space Campus will not only provide jobs and economic opportunity, but will also inspire us all, particularly our young people, to dream big and boldly.”

The development aligns with the city’s goal of encouraging investment and development of New Orleans East, as well as attracting high-wage industry to the city, according to Jeff Schwartz, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“This aligns with one of our core Generational Economic Development strategies around prioritizing growth in high-wage industries such as advanced manufacturing, and doing catalytic, place-based development. We’re excited about the potential economic impact on the city, especially in light of our ongoing work to revitalize our economy as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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