Plans Moving Forward To Bring Backup NASA Mission Control To Bryan

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BRYAN - A local company says it's getting closer to selecting a site in Bryan-College Station for a backup Mission Control for NASA.

We told you in March about the project that would make our area a major player in the space program.

News 3 reports on the progress and when we should expect the facility to open.

NASA is getting closer to picking a spot in Bryan-College Station to house a backup mission control.

"We've had several meetings now at Johnson Space Center and had them up to Bryan several times, so those are going really well. Two weeks from now we'll be going over the first draft of the report with them," said Matt Leonard.

He is the President of Texas Space, Technology, Applications and Research or TSTAR, based in Bryan.

In March we told you about TSTAR signing an agreement with NASA to look for a place to build the backup mission control.

Matt Leonard gave us an update via Skype from Baltimore, Maryland.

"There's a lot of good locations in the Bryan-College Station area so we're looking at all of them. We've been talking to various people about their location and what each of them has to bring to the table, but there's actually quite a few good locations to think about in the area," he said.

Currently there's a backup mission control in Huntsville, Alabama.

The plan would be to replace that one with the facility in Bryan or College Station.

"By the time they get to Huntsville it takes them about 15 hours to get there and if we give them something that's two hours away then they don't have to do as much transition with the space station and can do that faster. So our game plan is to try and make it attractive for Johnson to use our control center as the backup," said Leonard.

They hope to have a temporary site launched by the end of this year.

A permanent backup mission control should be operational by the end of next year.

TSTAR hopes to use the backup mission control throughout the year for education and training for flight controllers looking to work in the industry.

They will also be offering a kids space camp this summer.

We have a link with more information attached in the related links section of this story.