A new agreement deepens ties between NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and The University of Texas at Austin to help achieve the nation’s Vision for Space Exploration.

JSC Director Jefferson D. Howell Jr. and Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university, formally signed a Space Act Agreement Feb. 17 at JSC. The five-year agreement strengthens collaborative research efforts between JSC and the university and provides for research opportunities for faculty and educational experiences for students at JSC.

"We are not going to get back to the moon and travel on to Mars without working with the best scientists in the world," said Dr. Helen Lane, manager, JSC’s University Research and Affairs Office. "We need to work closely with the great universities we have in the region to achieve collaborative research goals and to share the latest in expertise and technology to meet our nation’s Vision for Space Exploration."

“The university’s scientists and engineers have very valuable expertise in developing space-related technology and they will continue to make important contributions in this area,” said Dr. Juan M. Sanchez, vice president for research at UT. “Our faculty and students are significant resources for the nation’s space program.”

As part of the agreement, university faculty members will collaborate in research projects using JSC and university facilities, deepening a long history of collaboration between the two institutions.

The university’s researchers already work with JSC scientists and engineers on many projects including advanced propulsion systems and programs such as those in biomedical engineering and aeronautical engineering.

Students enrolled at the university may participate as interns in facilities and laboratories at JSC for up to one year. JSC will provide opportunities for development of collaborative research including submission of research proposals. The university will provide reasonable access to its facilities for this research.

Students and faculty members will be drawn largely from the College of Engineering and College of Natural Sciences at this time. Faculty and students from other colleges may be involved in future projects.

JSC has Space Act Agreements in place with UT Health Science Center at Houston and UT Medical Branch at Galveston. This is the first such agreement with The University of Texas at Austin.

Imagery of the signing ceremony is available on the Internet at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/about/jsc_gallery_spaceact.html

For more information on JSC’s University Research and Affairs Office, visit: http://research.jsc.nasa.gov