The Phoenix Mars Lander is just one of a series of space exploration projects that are making aerospace and related research programs one of Arizona's core economic competencies.
The cover story in this month's Arizona Business is one of four features describing the economic effects.
They report that, "Arizona ranks eighth in the U.S. in aerospace and defense industry employment and fourth in the employment of full-time workers. Industry figures show these jobs pay more than 52 percent higher than Arizona’s average wage."
"The state has one of the largest concentrations of telescopes in the world and a legacy of more than 50 missions."
"The impact of space research is significant in Southern Arizona. According to a recent study by the Arizona Arts, Sciences and Technology Academy, astronomy and space-related research injected more than $250 million into the state’s economy during fiscal 2006. In addition, over a 10-year period from 1998 to 2007, NASA awarded UA $444.3 million in research grants and space exploration dollars. Arizona’s clear skies and moderate desert climate continue to drive much of the growth and interest in further space-related endeavors. Besides the effects in Southern Arizona, there has been a steady increase in the monetary impact to ASU from NASA. In 2000, ASU was awarded $9.9 million in NASA grants, nearly $10.1 million in 2005 and $16.8 million in 2008. Since 2000, ASU has been the recipient of more than $121 million from NASA."