TEES signs Space Act Agreement with NASA/Johnson Space Center to increase research collaborations

June 27, 2016
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC) have signed a Space Act Agreement (SAA) that establishes a framework for increasing collaboration among the agencies’ researchers and engineers.

While TEES and NASA have partnered in research for more than 50 years, the new agreement will expand research opportunities by enabling TEES researchers’ use of lab facilities at the JSC. 

“This historic agreement between The Texas A&M University System and NASA will position us at the forefront of space exploration research worldwide,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M System.

“TEES and NASA/JSC have a strong, established working relationship,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering, and director of TEES. “The signing of the Space Act agreement, however, introduces a new level of collaboration, with TEES researchers working side-by-side with NASA researchers in JSC labs. We also hope to expand our partnership to include researcher exchanges and other joint projects utilizing the talent and expertise of both organizations.”

The research areas NASA selected for initial collaboration are human-system interfaces to improve efficiencies for future exploration mission operations; guidance, navigation and control capabilities for long-duration crewed missions beyond Earth’s orbit; and advanced materials and monitoring for spacecraft structures and shielding.

TEES and JSC researchers have teamed to develop a number of topics in these areas already, as well as in existing areas such as improved space suit performance. An ongoing review process will evaluate research collaboration ideas as they are developed, and assess emerging priorities for technology development within the NASA/JSC Engineering Directorate for selecting additional projects. 

“We look forward to collaborating with TEES as we develop the capabilities and technologies needed for human space exploration,” said Kevin Window, deputy director of the JSC Engineering Directorate. “Having TEES researchers work side-by-side with our personnel on some of our complex engineering problems will be of real benefit to both organizations.”

Top photo: Kevin Window and M. Katherine Banks. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

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