Texas A&M approves space institute to be constructed in Clear Lake

Some experts say the new institute could fuel an already growing space economy in Texas.


Jen Rice

A recently approved Texas A&M Space Institute could provide more opportunities for the space economy in Clear Lake.

$200 million will go toward the construction of the new space institute, which will be constructed next to NASA's Johnson Space Center.

According to the university, the new institute will have scientists and other personnel supporting mission training, aeronautics research, advanced robotics, and work on lunar and Martian 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 in a press release. "No University is better equipped for aeronautics and space projects than Texas A&M."

Brian Freedman with Bay Area Houston's Economic Partnership said the new institute is an example of how private companies can invest in space exploration.

"We have been excited and supportive of those efforts because we see the potential and the opportunity that can come from them," he said.

Freedman said the institute is also an example of how the space economy is growing.

"The potential for those developments, and who might go into those buildings in terms of workforce, in terms of the projects, the ability to partner with NASA and be in such close proximity with them," he said. "The work that A&M is doing really captures that energy, harnesses it into an opportunity for companies to be really successful in that market.

Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature invested $350 million to create the Texas Space Commission, the Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund, and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium. House Bill 3447 along with Texas A&M's space institute are meant to ensure that Texas remains a leader in the field of space exploration, according to the university.

MORE: Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg, a former astronaut and director of the Texas A&M Space Institute discusses it on Houston Matters


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Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

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