MDC, a key economic development entity in Midland, Texas, has joined hands with MITRE, a renowned not-for-profit organization known for its extensive research and development expertise, particularly in the aviation and space technology fields. Together, they intend to focus on research and development projects, along with operational demonstrations, crucial for enabling efficient and effective commercial space and high-speed flight operations.
Lourcey Sams, the MDC board chairman, highlighted the agreement's broader implications. "This agreement focuses on knowledge sharing and research that will enable regional innovation, including education, workforce, and economic development and diversification," Sams said. The collaboration is seen not just as a technological endeavor but also as a catalyst for regional economic and educational growth.
In 2022, MDC had commissioned a study to evaluate the feasibility of developing high-speed airspace corridors accessible from the Midland International Air and Space Port. This facility, uniquely licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to support both aviation and commercial space flight, is poised to become a pivotal national test bed for aerospace systems. These systems span a wide range, from subsonic and supersonic aircraft to hypersonic systems and suborbital launch vehicles.
Kerry Buckley, vice president and director of the Center for Integrated Transportation at MITRE, expressed enthusiasm for Midland's role in this groundbreaking initiative. "Midland is setting a course to lead the way in accelerating commercial space and high-speed flight operations in the United States," Buckley stated. He further emphasized the significance of Midland's role in testing and validating high-speed aerospace transportation solutions, foreseeing its impact not just nationally but globally.
This partnership aligns with MITRE's broader mission to create an integrated transportation experience that seamlessly spans from surface to space. The complexity of such operations demands a high level of safety and coordination, areas where MITRE's expertise in systems engineering and integration will be invaluable.
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