HOUSTON – Texas A&M Regents have approved the construction of a $200 million space institute to be built next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
The facility will be constructed with funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature earlier this year from House Bill 3447. A&M officials plan to bid on access to 32 acres along Saturn Lane, adjacent to Rocket Park.
HB 3447, which was signed into law in June, created the Texas Space Commission (TSC) that will oversee planning for the state’s space industry. The bill included $350 million for the TSC with $150 million going to the Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund and $200 million to A&M to build its new facility.
This new facility will house the TSC, the Space Consortium, the Texas Space Aeronautics and Curation Exploratorium (T-Space), and the A&M Space Institute.
It will have labs, shops, classrooms, meeting rooms, control rooms, and spaces for astromaterial curation for post-mission materials and sample research.
The facility is also expected to house the world’s largest indoor extraterrestrial testbeds that emulate the Martian surface and lunar surface.