NEW ORLEANS—Governor John Bel Edwards recently announced that the State of Louisiana signed an agreement with NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) that could lead to creation of the Louisiana Space Campus, a dedicated 50-acre business park within NASA’s 829-acre site here. The space campus would target commercial office development, with contemporary amenities, for existing Michoud tenants and new prospects from the public and private sector to support MAF and other industry in New Orleans East.
The main building at MAF encompasses 43 acres of climate-controlled manufacturing space, and hosts both government and commercial tenants, including Boeing, which is assembling the Space Launch System, or SLS, Artemis rocket; and Lockheed Martin, which is developing the Orion crew capsule. The site has an extensive history of hosting defense and civil agencies, along with contractors that support the development of technological products and services. The Louisiana Space Campus would build on that foundation with a new initiative to attract leading-edge tenants.
MAF has been dedicated to NASA activities since 1961, including the development and construction of space vehicles. Major achievements include building Saturn V rockets for 13 Apollo and Skylab missions; development of 135 external tanks that fueled Space Shuttle flights; and current SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule assembly. Prior to NASA’s takeover of the site, Michoud served as the home of continuous government interagency activity since the 1940s, including assembly of Sherman and Patton tank engines by the Chrysler Corp.