NASA, UC Berkeley announce launch of new space center in Mountain View

Zach Fuentes Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
NASA, UC Berkeley announce new space center in Mountain View
NASA and UC Berkeley on Monday announced the launch of the Berkeley Space Center at NASA Ames in Mountain View.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- There was Skyrocketing excitement in Silicon Valley Monday. NASA and UC Berkeley announced the launch of the Berkeley Space Center at NASA Ames in Mountain View.

"It feels so wonderful that we're at this point in the game because this public announcement makes things actual," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, "It makes it known to the world."

The campus is planned to be built at NASA Ames in Mountain View.

It will be built on 36 acres and feature 1.4 million square feet of research and development buildings.

MORE: How Bay Area's NASA Ames Research Center helped bring 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid sample to Earth

Those behind it say it will bring technological breakthroughs in fields like aeronautics, quantum computing, climate studies and more.

Some of the biggest beneficiaries of it will be UC Berkeley students.

"It's so exciting. I mean, these are going to be world class institutions that are not only gonna bring students but industry for us to learn from," said Taylor Waddell, a PhD student who already works as an engineer in an existing program the university has with NASA, "Being able to have world class research facilities is really exciting at first and then we also have all these, hopefully, commercial companies that are gonna be coming in now and allow us to get, industry experience, work with these companies maybe even have full time jobs, experience and that's what students love and need."

Just as excited about the project are officials at NASA Ames.

MORE: NASA reveals sample from asteroid Bennu contains water, lots of carbon: the building blocks of life

"This will be a completely different environment for a NASA Research Center, where we're really going to blend and integrate the best of the academic community, as well as government laboratory like NASA," said Eugene Tu, director of NASA Ames Research Center.

Developers, SKS partners, still have a lot of work ahead before the campus is up and running.

"It's anticipated that that first building could begin construction within about three years," said Daniel Kingsley with SKS partners at Monday's announcement event.

Though move-in to the new buildings isn't expected until 2027, those most excited for the project are willing to wait.

"It's going to have a lot of these undergraduate and graduate students at UC Berkeley, to get, their dream job at NASA, their dream job at the space company, their dream job at innovating the future," Waddell said, "That's what means a lot to me."

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