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Governor Abbott Launches Texas Space Commission

Announces Appointments To Texas Space Commission Board, Texas Aerospace Research And Space Economy Consortium Executive Committee

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Governor Greg Abbott today launched the Texas Space Commission and announced the inaugural members of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium (TARSEC) Executive Committee at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo: Office of the Governor
Governor Greg Abbott today launched the Texas Space Commission and announced the inaugural members of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium (TARSEC) Executive Committee at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Photo: Office of the Governor
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AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott today launched the Texas Space Commission and announced the inaugural members of the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium (TARSEC) Executive Committee at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The Texas Space Commission will cement Texas’ position as a national leader in the space industry and will secure its future in space exploration and development for the next generation of Texans.

“Since its very inception, NASA’s Johnson Space Center has been home to manned spaceflight, propelling Texas as the national leader in the U.S. space program,” said Governor Abbott. “It was at Rice University where President John F. Kennedy announced that the U.S. would put a man on the moon​—​​not because it was easy, but because it was hard. Now, with the Texas Space Commission, our great state will have a group that is responsible for dreaming and achieving the next generation of human exploration in space. Texas is the launchpad for Mars, innovating the technology that will colonize humanity’s first new planet. As we look into the future of space, one thing is clear: those who reach for the stars do so from the great state of Texas. I look forward to working with the Texas Space Commission, and I thank the Texas Legislature for partnering with industry and higher education institutions to secure the future of Texas’ robust space industry.” 

Getting more info on the program and enjoying the day. Photo: Office of the Governor

The Governor was joined at the announcement by Speaker Dade Phelan, Representative Greg Bonnen, Representative Dennis Paul, NASA’s Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche, and other state and aerospace industry leaders. Prior to the announcement, the Governor toured NASA’s Mission Control Center and spoke with native Texan and NASA Astronaut Loral O’Hara via International Space Station feed.

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“Texas is home to trailblazers and innovators, and we have a rich history of traversing the final frontier: space,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “Texas is and will continue to be the epicenter for the space industry across the globe, and I have total confidence that my appointees to the Texas Space Commission Board of Directors and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium Executive Committee will ensure the Texas space industry remains an international powerhouse for cutting-edge space innovation.”

“Texas boasts a proud legacy as our nation’s leading pioneer in space exploration and innovation,” said Speaker Phelan. “From NASA’s historic space operations at the Johnson Space Center to the thousands of aerospace companies that now call our state home, Texas has stood at the forefront of the expansion and evolution of the dynamic space industry. This past session, the Texas Legislature dedicated important funding and resources that will support Texas’ competitive edge in civil, commercial and military aerospace opportunities and further space exploration. I want to thank Representative Bonnen and our House colleagues for their work on this legislation, as well as the distinguished appointees to the newly created entities that will guide these groundbreaking efforts for the State of Texas.”

A direct line to space. Photo: Office of the Governor

“I want to thank Governor Abbott for working with members of the Texas Legislature in cementing Texas’ position as a national leader,” said Senator Huffman. “With the creation of the Texas Space Commission, we will ensure that Texas companies and researchers lead the way in the development and exploration of space.”

“Texas has led human space exploration since the beginning,” said Representative Bonnen. “Texas is the home of manned spaceflight and training, the curation of astromaterials, and the development of the world’s first super heavy lift reusable launch vehicle. The Texas Space Commission and Space Consortium will further cement Texas as the preeminent location for exploration, research, and development of space in the new age of space flight.” 

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Governor Abbott discussing the new out of this world project. Photo: Office of the Governor

The Texas Space Commission will work to strengthen Texas’ proven leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity by promoting innovation in the fields of space exploration and commercial aerospace opportunities, including the integration of space, aeronautics, and aviation industries into the Texas economy. The Commission is governed by a nine-member board of directors, who will also administer the legislatively created Space Exploration and Aeronautics Research Fund to provide grants to eligible entities.

TARSEC will independently identify research opportunities within this state that strengthen Texas’ proven leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity; enhance this state’s position in aeronautics research and development, astronautics, space commercialization, and space flight infrastructure; and boost the integration of space, aeronautics, astronautics, and aviation industries into the Texas economy. TARSEC is governed by an executive committee and will be composed of representatives of each higher education institution in the state, who will also provide funding and research recommendations to the Texas Space Commission.

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