NASA astronaut boosts aerospace research efforts at Texas A&M University

Through a partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that is designed to reinvigorate space-related research, astronaut Rick Linnehan joined the Texas A&M University System research staff on assignment as director for space science, policy and education, according to a press release.

As part of his assignment, Linnehan - who has logged more than 58 days in space - works to develop science initiatives within the A&M System that target research in aerospace engineering and physics. Linnehan also works closely with researchers at the Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies to test and evaluate solutions in animal models to support advanced imaging, pharmacokinetics and the development of novel space flight-associated technologies.

As an offshoot of NASA's science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiative, Linnehan's role also includes the development of curricula that is focused on space science. His project includes the creation of a space policy section at the university's George Bush School of Government and Public Service, a space science lecture and visiting scholar series.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, aerospace engineers - who often become astronauts - can earn an average of $92,520 per year.

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