Ohio State University will soon be home to the first science park dedicated to space research.
Space technology company Voyager Space announced Monday that it has selected proposals from OSU, Ohio State, Jobs Ohio and One Columbus to host a ground analogue at the George Washington Carver Science Park.
Ohio President Christina M. Johnson said: “Finding a ground laboratory at the George Washington Carver Science Park in Ohio is a great opportunity to advance this collaborative effort and ensure that resources, research and knowledge are shared across multiple disciplines. It’s the best way.”
Voyager and its operator, Nanoracks, won a $160 million Space Act Agreement from NASA in December to design Starlab, the company’s future commercial space station. The George Washington Carver Science Park is the first science park in space and operates on the International Space Station.
Facilities in Ohio preparing for space station research missions
The lab will be a replica of the Starlove Space Station Science Park, allowing researchers to test missions. OSU aerospace policy chairman Neil Armstrong, John Horak, said the Starlove spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Florida in 2027.
“This is a very high fidelity rehearsal hall,” Horack said of Ohio State University’s replica lab.
Research conducted at Ohio’s Terrestrial Research Institute will also benefit agriculture, sustain Ohio’s water quality, improve crop genetics and production efficiency, and enhance animal health in Ohio’s farming communities. Includes research to
“This groundbreaking partnership at the intersection of aerospace and agriculture is extraordinary,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement. “Together, we will accelerate innovative aerospace technologies as Ohio continues to lead the nation into her 21st century aerospace era.”
This two-step process will begin this year at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences facility.
Voyager plans to begin construction of a separate facility on the Ohio State Aerospace and Air Transportation Campus at The Ohio State University Airport in mid-to-late 2023, Horak said. The Ohio facility will take two years to build.
When asked how much it will cost to build the new facility, a Voyager spokesperson said in an email:
The ground lab will keep students who want to work in space in Ohio, Horak said.
“This increases the chances that any young man or young woman who wants to work in space will be able to work in space, be comfortable, and live in a place they can call home for the rest of their lives,” he said. Being able to stay in Ohio and the Midwest is very important to us.”
Voyager Space Chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor said in a statement that the entire state would benefit from ground labs.
“Researchers, operators, visionaries and space changemakers from Ohio corporations can influence and inspire organizations pursuing aerospace research and development. Partnering with Team Ohio on this exciting project “I’m excited to do it,” he said.