HOUSTON, Texas -- The Space Center Houston revealed plans on Tuesday to undergo major transformations as they turn to support the growing demands for space exploration education while the space industry looks to return to the Moon and to eventually land on Mars.
After opening the facility in Houston 30 years ago, the nonprofit is advancing its facilities master plan on the 100-acre site.
"Space is expanding once again and a new space age is upon us," president and CEO of Space Center Houston William T. Harris said. "With new ambitions, new players and new challenges, we will shift our focus from being a curator of past achievements to also facilitating new feats in space."
Plans include expanding educational programs like Space Center Houston's Space Center University and the Human Performance Accelerator Lab, allowing students to train like an astronaut or engineer in the same facility as NASA astronauts. They also intend to create a Lunar Mars facility that will simulate surfaces of the Moon and Mars. That lab will be used to design and test instruments and techniques for surface exploration.
The new master plan includes the development of two massive structures that the Space Center says will also give the public a front row seat into the development of robotics, rovers, lunar landers, and reduced gravity systems.
The center also is planning to add an elevated exhibit hall over those two surfaces to offer the public immersive experiences to observe astronaut training first-hand.
Space Center Houston says the evolution of Space Center Houston will be a phased approach and will announce further details about the organization's plans in 2023.