A new National Space Science and Technology Center -- where many of the world’s best scientists and engineers will share ideas and facilities -- came a step closer to reality today at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
"In a 1995 address to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin advocated putting a brand new science institute in Huntsville, and now that vision is becoming a reality," said Arthur G. Stephenson, director of the Marshall Center.
Today at the Marshall Center, Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman endorsed the enterprise and pledged $2 million in state money for the new center, with an additional $2 million to follow. Last year, at the recommendation of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and Rep. Bud Cramer of Alabama, the U.S. Congress pledged support for the space science and technology facility and agreed to match state funds with a $4 million grant.
"The National Space Science and Technology Center will attract top researchers and the brightest students and bolster NASA’s existing relationships with other national research institutes," said Stephenson.
"NASA is proud to be the cornerstone of this unique, world-class facility."Space science and technology expertise at the Marshall Center will provide the core for the newly developed science center to be located in Huntsville and focus on research in materials science, biotechnology, Earth sciences, propulsion, optics and other areas that support NASA’s mission.
The National Space Science and Technology Center will offer unique opportunities for collaboration with private industry, other federal agencies and universities from around the world.
"We not only need to get to space faster, better and cheaper, but we need to do research the same way," said Frank Rose, the director of the Marshall Center’s Science Directorate. "We are creating a national resource where we can reduce expenses and maximize scientific return by sharing facilities and ideas. A place where we can make discoveries that will make a difference in the lives of the American people."
While specific plans for the National Space Science and Technology Center are being developed, the new center will be a partnership of NASA’s Marshall Center and the Alabama Space Science and Technology Alliance, a group of six Alabama universities including the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Alabama A&M University in Normal; Auburn University in Auburn; the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
"With this grant for the research, we are making our research universities’ dream a reality," said Siegelman. "We are literally reaching for the stars, and we will improve the lives of Alabamians and many others throughout the world."
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Note to Editors / News Directors:
Additional information to support this release is available to media representatives by contacting Steve Roy of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-6535 or (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release or more information, visit Marshall's News Center Website at: http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news
NASA Digital Photo: Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and other state officials meet at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., on Aug. 19 to announce the state’s commitment of $2 million for a new National Space Science and Technology Center. The governor pledged an additional $2 million to be added later.
NASA Digital Photo: Arthur G. Stephenson, director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., announces NASA’s partnership with the State of Alabama to form a new National Space Science and Technology Center. Joining him to pledge support are, seated from right, Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer of the 5th Congressional District, and Dr. Frank Franz, president of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Alabama State Sen. Tom Butler of Huntsville, not shown, also participated in the ceremony.
The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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