A New Space City

San Antonio blasts to top of list for new Space Command headquarters

San Antonio blasts to top of list for new Space Command headquarters

San Antonio skyline
San Antonio is one of just six finalists.  Photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Move over, Houston — there might be a new Space City in Texas.

On November 19, the Department of the Air Force announced the finalist cities for the new U.S. Space Command Headquarters. Port San Antonio bested 50 sites across the country to become one of six finalists. 

“We are honored to be on the short list for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, and I am confident that we will make a strong case for locating it in Military City, USA," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a release. “San Antonio is well positioned for the headquarters considering our many military and community assets, as well as the team approach that we will put to work to land this historic and important command.”

San Antonio's rich, centuries-long history as a military city (not to mention that Military City, USA moniker) should help bolster its chances at landing the headquarters. In addition to having one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the country, San Antonio is also home to Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, the Department of Defense’s largest medical center. The city also frequently tops best-of lists for military personnel and veterans. 

Joining San Antonio on the finalists' list: 

  • Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Florida
  • Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Offutt Air Force Base in Sarpy County, Nebraska
  • Redstone Army Airfield in Huntsville, Alabama

In order to determine the eventual site for the Space Command, members of the Department of the Air Force will conduct both virtual and onsite visits to each place, including San Antonio. The finalist is expected to be announced in early 2021.

"We will work with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Port San Antonio and other community partners to ensure we are prepared to host the Air Force’s survey team," said City of San Antonio Director of Military and Veteran Affairs Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala. "I am confident that we will not only meet, but exceed, all the requirements needed to host the command."

The Space Command was authorized by President Trump in early 2019, who has characterized it as the eventual sixth brach of the U.S. government. "The Space Force will organize, train and equip warriors to support Spacecom’s mission,” he said in January 2019. 

It was overwhelmingly approved by Congress in December 2019 as part of a $738 billion defense spending bill.