Published Aug 17, 2023 by Ernesto Becerra
Texas A&M University plans to build a cutting-edge research and training facility next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, catalyzing the Houston region’s momentum in revolutionizing space exploration.
“The Texas A&M Space Institute will make sure the state expands its role as a leader in the new space economy,” John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System, said. “No university is better equipped for aeronautics and space projects than Texas A&M.”
The $200 million state-of-the-art facility is funded through the Texas Space Commission, which was passed by the state legislature earlier this year to strengthen Texas’ leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity, and enhance its position in aeronautics research and development, space commercialization, and space flight infrastructure.
While NASA's Johnson Space Center has been a hub for weightless exploration just beyond Earth's atmosphere, Texas A&M's vision extends to the next frontier: the moon.
With a focus on navigating low-gravity environments and extreme lighting conditions, the new facility will serve as a critical resource for lunar and interplanetary missions. The facility will also house vital equipment to study abrasive lunar soil effects on spacesuits and mechanical systems and a pioneering reduced-gravity simulation machine.
As a Space Grant university, Texas A&M employs four astronauts on its faculty, including former NASA astronaut Nancy Currie-Gregg, who will lead the new institution.
Aligned with NASA's Artemis Program, which advances lunar exploration collaboratively, the Texas A&M Space Institute will shape the next generation of technology and future workforce.
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