Texas university to build $200M space institute in Houston
Texas A&M University's board of regents voted to approve the construction of a new institute in Houston that hopes to contribute to maintaining the state's leadership within the aerospace sector.
This week, the Texas A&M Space Institute got the greenlight for its $200 million plan. The announcement follows a $350 million investment from the Texas Legislature. The institute is planned to be constructed next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“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, says in a news release. “No university is better equipped for aeronautics and space projects than Texas A&M.”
The new institute would build on A&M's expertise and resources to, according to the release, "make new discoveries, technological developments, health advances and workforce growth." Within its system, the university's space presence includes:
- Four astronaut faculty members.
- Scientists and engineers have participated in all NASA rover missions to Mars with two scientists active on NASA's Perseverance Rover Team.
- More than 280 faculty and investigators are involved in space-related research.
- Students, faculty and researchers are working on more than 300 space-related projects.
- For the past five years, over 25 million per year in funding awards from NASA, other government agencies, and the commercial space industry.
- Interdisciplinary space-related research across more than 12 colleges/schools within the Texas A&M University System universities.
Last summer, NASA and Texas A&M signed a Space Act Agreement, a general agreement to promote collaboration with the agency.