02/20/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/20/2020 11:39
Texas A&M University will showcase its out-of-this-world commitment to space exploration and healthy eating at next month's SXSW Interactive Conference, known as the 'world's most important creative convention.'
It's the fourth consecutive year that A&M has converted a downtown Austin building into a destination for attendees to learn about the university's research, innovative problem-solving ideas and its global impact.
This year's experience - called the Texas A&M Space Lab - will dock in Austin on March 14 at Fleming's restaurant, 320 E. 2nd St., where a Mars rover prototype will be stationed out front. Visitors are invited to experience what it's like to drive it using a remote control.
The rover, owned by Mission Control Space Services, along with exhibits borrowed from NASA, are open to the public at no cost through March 16.
The Texas A&M Space Lab will host five panel discussions involving 18 experts - half of whom are Texas A&M researchers. Here are summaries of each:
SXSW badges are needed for most of the panel discussions and entrance to the trade show at the nearby Austin Convention Center, where A&M will feature space-related research projects.
Amy Smith, Texas A&M's executive vice president for the Division of Marketing & Communications, said even though the university has been a space-grant institution for just over 30 years, 'it feels like we're just getting started.'
'Texas A&M is going galactic at SXSW this year,' said Smith, whose division created and is hosting the Space Lab. 'We thank NASA, Space-X, our faculty astronauts and researchers, and the many others who are helping to create an interactive experience to remember.'
A comedy podcast hosted by Chris Duffy involving three comedians and a Texas A&M scientist will be recorded from the Space Lab.
SXSW - which has a mix of industry conferences, festivals and exhibitions that attract diverse innovators, leaders and experts from across the globe - drew 417,400 attendees last year.
The interactive conference, which starts March 13 and continues through March 22, transforms Austin into a 'global mecca' for creative professionals, while infusing $355.9 million into the local economy - that's on par with hosting the Super Bowl every year.
More details about the event will be announced at the Texas A&M Space Lab website.