Berkeley Space Center

In an exciting development announced on Monday, October 16th, UC Berkeley will be partnering with NASA Ames to construct a novel 36-acre research and innovation hub at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley—just 45 miles south of Berkeley’s campus. The joint venture hopes to open its doors in 2027, offering “state-of-the-art research and development laboratories for companies and UC Berkeley researchers, but also classrooms for UC Berkeley students” according to Berkeley News

This monumental project has been long anticipated, with Eugene Hu, Director of the NASA-AMES research center, stating that “reaching the milestone of kicking off this initiative with UC Berkeley has been over 20 years in the making, and it’s a testament to NASA’s commitment to building partnerships that advance science and benefit humanity”. The combination of NASA and UC Berkeley’s talents, as well as the proximity to Carnegie Mellon University’s hub and Stanford, all point to “the intensity of academic activities in the area, both instructional and research, to increase immensely” according to Alex Bayen, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and Associate Provost for Moffett Field program. 

“We have new undergraduate and graduate programs in aeronautics and aerospace and incredible interest in space health and space medicine… [this] is a perfect time for the kinds of intellectual interests that are emerging on our campus”

Chancellor Carol Christ
Carol ChristUC Berkeley Chancellor

While the physical hub will likely not open for at least four years, UC Berkeley has already broken ground in space exploration with the numerous intellectual opportunities and achievements it currently boasts. Offering renowned graduate programs in Aerospace Engineering, Astrophysics, and  Information & Data Scienceas well as courses such as Data Science in Aviation and Sustainable Aviation & Infrastructure. UC Berkeley students present at Monday morning’s panel have also made impressive strides; many working towards commercial space agency positions and one even completing an International Space Station mission. In the meantime, UC Berkeley and NASA are collaborating on numerous projects; including “new research grants, collaboration on research projects, research internships, joint symposia at Moffett Field and UC Berkeley, as well as classes that will be taught at UC Berkeley by NASA staff” according to a campus message released by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. 

The Berkeley Space Center is an exciting new joint endeavor for the University as well as tech, engineering, research, and space exploration industries as a whole. This groundbreaking hub will undoubtedly bring about many revolutionary discoveries in the years to come. 

Fiat Lux!