2020 in review
Editor's note: As 2020 comes to a close, InnovationMap is looking back at the year's top stories in Houston innovation. When it came to the space innovation news — whether that be new NASA hires or startup news — in the Space City, five stories trended among readers.
A Houston-based company that's on a mission to the moon has a new control center. Photo via Jesus Motto/Savills
A space tech startup based in Clear Lake, just outside of Houston, has a new office that's going to help them take their technology out of this world.
Intuitive Machines, an engineering firm specializing in automation and aerospace, has upgraded its Houston-area control center. The company has moved into a 22,300-square-foot space on the sixth floor of a building located at 3700 Bay Area Road. The lease was executed last fall. London-based Savills had a Houston team to represent the tenant and oversee project management of the buildout.
"I was proud to work on the build-out for Intuitive Machines during such an exciting time in its history," says Savills associate director, David Finklea, in a news release. "As Intuitive is a leader in the aerospace space field, we created an environment that is far from the industry standard and complements its innovative endeavors. The design is bright and contemporary, with a relaxing and airy feel that imitates the illusion of being in space."
Currently, Intuitive Machines is working on NASA's Artemis Program and has been granted $77 million from the organization to launch a flight to the moon next year. In light of this project, Intuitive Machines needed a larger, optimized space to support its growing team. Click here to continue reading.
Kathy Lueders will lead the future of human space flight at NASA. Photo via nasa.gov
NASA has named its new head of human space flight — a department based out of Houston's Johnson Space Center.
Kathy Lueders, formerly the commercial crew program manager, has been named associate administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Friday, June 12.
"Kathy gives us the extraordinary experience and passion we need to continue to move forward with Artemis and our goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024," says Bridenstine in a news release. "She has a deep interest in developing commercial markets in space, dating back to her initial work on the space shuttle program."
Lueders has been with NASA for over 12 years — spending time at both JSC and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Click here to continue reading.
Catch up on space news — from new partnerships at Rice University and the latest snub for the Space City. Photo via NASA.gov
It's been a busy few days for space news, and in Houston — the Space City — it's all relevant to the continued conversation of technology and innovation.
With so much going on — from Houston being passed over for the Space Command's headquarters and Rice receiving $1.4 million in federal funds for a new hub — here's what you may have missed in space news. Click here to continue reading.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine joined the Greater Houston Partnership for the State of Space online event this week. Photo via NASA.gov
The Greater Houston Partnership hosted its inaugural State of Space event featuring a keynote address by Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, that touched on the many ongoing projects at Houston's Johnson Space Center.
The online event, which also featured speeches from GHP President Bob Harvey and JSC Mark Geyer, took place Tuesday, December 15, for GHP members and nonmembers alike.
In his address, Bridenstine discussed the commercialization of space, how politics have affected the agency's history, and the exciting projects underway — including returning man to the moon. Missed the discussion? Here are some significant overheard moments from the virtual event. Click here to continue reading.
Eric Ingram and Sergio Gallucci of SCOUT are focused on creating data-driven solutions to space technology management to save companies billions and prevent space debris. Photos courtesy of SCOUT
A Virginia-based space company startup focusing on developing small and inexpensive satellites is making an out-of-this-world entrance in the Houston commercial innovation space.
SCOUT has been selected as part of the 2020 MassChallange's Texas in Houston cohort, a zero-equity startup accelerator, in the commercial space track and is planning a demonstration mission with the Johnson Space Center in 2021.
The startup, founded in 2019 by Eric Ingram and joined shortly after by Sergio Gallucci. Both have years of experience in innovative research and development, leading teams across academia, government, and industry. Their data will help manufacturers and operators extend satellite lifetimes, avoid failing satellites, reducing up to a billion dollars in losses.
"If we want further operate in space and grow our space presence overall," Eric Ingram, CEO-and-founder tells InnovationMap. "We need to have a safe environment to expand that presence so any time you have unchecked failures and space debris is a problem. We want to help take some of the riskiness out of space operations by providing data that doesn't already exist."
SCOUT provides a wide array of new products based on data to produce small and inexpensive satellites to perform in-space inspections of large and expensive satellites. Their data and spaceflight autonomy software helps spacecraft detect, identify, and refine models for observed objects to gather information and enable autonomous operations. Click here to continue reading.