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Texas A&M partners with NASA to build Space Institute at Johnson Space Center

Posted at 2:28 PM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-01 15:28:54-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M is taking a giant leap out of Aggieland, and into space.

Last month, the university's board of regents approved a new facility at the Johnson Space Center in Houston worth $200 million.

To lead it all, A&M chose one of NASA's finest to take on the project, with a resume of space missions since the early 90's.

“There’s a term in human space flight — “space is hard," and it takes a lot of tests, evaluations and people that are extremely knowledgeable about those very challenging environments," said Director of the Texas A&M Space Institute, Nancy Currie-Gregg.

The program also has students shooting for the stars with a new partnership and opportunities that students say other colleges can't offer them.

“This is the time you want to do this. We’re right here next to NASA and right here next to the Johnson Space Center," said student, Nathan Keller.

"That’s part of what inspired me to say now is the time to get into this.”

While many Aggies have learned in the classroom, the new institute allows students to go beyond what’s in the textbooks.

“I think it would really immerse them in how the concepts in the classroom are being applied," said student, Renee Abbott.

:I think everyone learns better when they get a hands-on experience — that would be very beneficial to them.”

As for Currie-Gregg, she gets to pass her knowledge to the next generation of Aggies who have dreams of going to space.

“To be able to help collaborate across the campus and then within the state of Texas and beyond is an incredible opportunity," Currie-Gregg said.

Plans for the opening of the Texas A&M Space Institute are still underway, and the institute is only the latest partnership with the space agency.

Texas A&M has more than 300 space-related projects in the works at the moment.