KXAN Austin

UT to lead multi-million dollar space project

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The University of Texas at Austin said Wednesday two professors will lead a research collaboration with three other universities to help the U.S. Air Force maintain security on a section of outer-space that is quickly becoming a popular venue for Earthbound companies.

UT’s announcement said the project, “Representations, Theory, and Algorithms for Autonomous Space Domain Awareness in the Cislunar Regime,” will focus on the area between Earth and the moon.

It said the project seeks to tackle the “intricate complications of monitoring and controlling activities” of what is known as cislunar space.

UT pointed out this region of space is becoming more important as companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin focus on space tourism and NASA plans to fly astronauts to the moon on the Artemis program.

According to the announcement, the goals of the project are:

Renato Zanetti and Ufuk Topcu, professors from the Center for Autonomy at the Oden Institute, will lead the project, UT said, and oversee the collaboration with partners from the University of Washington, Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

UT also said the project got $4 million grant from the Create the Future Independent Research Effort (CFIRE).