The U.S. space agency NASA released the results of its first-ever agency-wide economic impact study Friday, indicating its work generated more than $64 billion for the U.S. economy last year.
In a release on its official website, NASA said through all its activities during fiscal year 2019, the agency supported more than 312,000 jobs nationwide, and generated an estimated $7 billion in federal, state and local taxes throughout the country.
NASA said it commissioned the study to better understand how the U.S. economy benefited from its work and paid back the investment by the federal government.
In the release, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the study provides numbers and data to illustrate how taxpayer investment of one-half of one percent of the total federal budget in America's space program pays off, in both a stronger economy and through advances in science and technology.
The study showed that every state in the country saw some benefit from NASA activities, with 43 states seeing an economic impact of $10 million or more, and eight showing an impact of $1 billion or more.
The analysis also showed that NASA's "Moon to Mars" program alone generated $14 billion in economic output, brought in $1.5 billion in tax revenue and supported more than 69,000 jobs. The study said the program is expected to double those figures next year.
The program aims to return people to the moon by 2024, and use it as a base for operations to Mars and elsewhere.
The economic impact study also showed NASA has generated more than 2,000 technologies since 1976.
The study was conducted by the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.