These Are NASA's Top 10 Contractors
The International Space Station, Photo: Wikimedia Commons
California Institute of Technology
CalTech took in
$1.72 billion from
NASA in 2013 – 11%
of all funds spent
That made CalTech
NASA’s No. 1
for the year.
Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Data source: Bloomberg.
The Boeing Company
With $1.69 billion in
contracts for 2013,
Boeing was NASA’s
No. 2 contractor.
Boeing was NASA’s
winning more than
10% of contract
NASA contracts made
up nearly 2% of
Boeing’s Atlas V. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Lockheed Martin did
nearly as well, also
taking home 10% of
LockMart won $1.61
billion in NASA work
in 2013 – 3.6% of
and enough to make
it NASA’s No. 3
Lockheed’s Delta IV rocket is even bigger than Boeing’s Atlas V. Photo : Wikimedia Commons.
Jacobs Engineering Group
This next one
may surprise you,
another big NASA
It took home
4.2% of NASA
funds – $452
Jacobs Engineering helps support operations at the Johnson Space Center. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Space Exploration Technologies
As NASA’s No. 6
SpaceX’s star is on
3.4% of NASA
contracts in 2013 –
$532 million.SpaceX wants to help NASA hop into the future with “Grasshopper.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
company, it’s only
natural that we find
Raytheon on this
home nearly 3% of
NASA work last year
– $459 million, and
2% of revenues.
Raytheon built the infrared sensors for NASA’s NPP Suomi weather satellite. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Northrop Grumman Corporation
NASA is the National
Aeronautics and Space
Northrop’s Global Hawks
help with the first half of
that mission, and
Northrop is well paid for
For drones and other
work, it collected $373
million from NASA –
1.5% of revenues and
2.4% of NASA’s outlays.
NASA uses Northrop’s Global Hawk to monitor hurricane formation. Photo : Northrop Grumman.
Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT, Inc)
doesn’t get as
much press as
SpaceX. But that’s
okay, so long as
the checks clear...
NASA’s No. 8
$305 million in
NASA work in
SGT helps NASA monitor the polar ice sheets with ICESat. Photo : Wikimedia Commons
United Launch Alliance
NASA and the
U.S. Air Force,
ULA operates a
on such work,
and is paid
it – $298 million
United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at liftoff. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Russia’s equivalent of
NASA, the Federal
Space Agency –
“Roskosmos” – is
responsible for Russia’s
space program, and
also does general
In addition to funds
took in $285 million
from NASA last year.
Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
So what is the significance of all this?
Right off the bat, we can see that Boeing and
Lockheed Martin are two of America's top 10
contractors for NASA.
Every time NASA spends $10, Boeing and
Lockheed Martin collect more than $1 each.
In fact, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are even
more important to NASA than that.
You see, NASA's No. 9 top contractor, United
Launch Alliance, is actually a 50-50 joint venture
between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
That means you can basically take ULA's $297.8
million NASA budget, split it down the middle, and
give half each to Boeing and LockMart.
Voila! All of a sudden, Boeing is not NASA's No.
2 contractor, but its No. 1 top contractor!
That's how much money Boeing got from NASA
And Lockheed Martin?
They're not doing too shabby either.
$1.61 billion of "their own" money, plus another
$149 million from ULA, gives Lockheed Martin
$1.76 billion in NASA revenue.
And lifts Lockheed Martin into second place.
And Jacobs Engineering, Raytheon, Northrop
Grumman, and SpaceX?
Fine companies, one and all, and big beneficiaries
of NASA's largesse.
But if you want to place a big bet on the future of
space exploration, and are looking for the best way
to do that, the choice is clear.
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