HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Texas A&M University plans to build a $200 million space institute near the entrance to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake area in southeast Houston.
The Texas A&M Space Institute is expected to be constructed on a 32-acre site on Saturn Lane near the entrance to NASA.
The New Space Economy
“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.”
NASA is proceeding with its Artemis lunar program which will result in the return of astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 or 2025 in the Artemis 3 mission.
In November 2024, the Artemis 2 mission will take a four-person crew on a 10-day flight that will circle around in the Moon.
Momentum in Space City
Houston, which is known as Space City, has seen a growing number of space-related construction projects as aerospace companies open facilities in the area, including the Spaceport development at the nearby Ellington airport.
Texas A&M said its efforts at NASA in Houston are intended to “ensure that Texas remains a leader in the field of space exploration. Scientists and other personnel at the facility will support mission training, aeronautics research, advanced robotics and work on lunar and Martian exploration.”
The university said the vision for the Texas A&M Space Institute vision involves “expanding Texas’s role as the leader in the new space economy. It would leverage Texas A&M’s existing expertise and resources to make new discoveries, technological developments, health advances and workforce growth. It will depend on partnerships with public and private entities in a variety of sectors from across the country.”
The members of the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System on Wednesday approved the creation of the Texas A&M Space Institute and the construction on Saturn Lane.
Earlier this year, State Rep. Greg Bonnen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, authored House Bill 3447 to create the Texas Space Commission, the Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium. The Legislature’s action directs $350 million to the space initiatives.
Texas A&M University, a Space Grant university, employs four astronauts on the faculty. Also, scientists and engineers from Texas A&M have participated in all NASA rover missions to Mars with two scientists active on NASA’s Perseverance Rover Team. Plus, more than 280 faculty and investigators from Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Texas A&M AgriLife Research are involved in space-related research.
The space industry blossomed in southeast Houston after Lyndon Baines Johnson successfully secured a NASA facility. The 10,000-acre Clear Lake City master planned community was developed around NASA’s campus.
In other new space activity, Axiom Space, which aims to develop a privately-owned space station, has recently developed its headquarters facility on 14 acres at Houston’s Spaceport. And Griffin Partners recently developed a campus for Collins Aerospace where space suits are being developed.
Aug. 18, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023
Artists image: Courtesy NASA
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