Last Updated: April 1, 2024By Tags: ,

The majority of California’s congressional delegation, encompassing 40  members and the state’s two senators, recently urged Governor Gavin Newsom to intensify investments in the space industry.

This call to action aims to leverage California’s historic and strategic advantages in space exploration and technology to foster economic growth and high-paying jobs. Highlighting the state’s existing infrastructure, including Vandenberg Space Force Base, Los Angeles Air Force Base, and prominent NASA facilities, lawmakers argue that California is primed to lead the global space economy. 

The delegation’s push comes amid concerns over recent job cuts in the sector and perceived funding inadequacies, notably the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) layoffs in Pasadena. 

Despite California’s $625 million investment in the defense and space sectors across more than 25 counties since 2019 and the initiation of the California Space Industry Task Force in 2022 to foster growth, there’s a pressing need for increased state support to combat challenges such as heavy regulation and the high cost of business operations that make setting up shop elsewhere more attractive. 

The lawmakers’ appeal also coincides with specific financial strains, including significant budget cuts to JPL’s Mars Sample Return mission. This prompted a broader mobilization among Southern California representatives to secure and expand aerospace jobs and investments.