TEXAS A&M at SXSW 2021

March 16 - 20

Texas A&M is the only university at SXSW’s Online Conference delivering comprehensive programming by incorporating high-profile thought leaders in compelling discussions and one-of-a-kind virtual exhibits. SXSW gives the country’s second largest university (with more than 70,000 students) the opportunity to illustrate its interdisciplinary research in front of an international crowd, as well as Fortune 500 recruiters who hire our students.

Event Overview

Texas A&M returns to SXSW as it welcomes NASA innovators, technology leaders and preeminent legal minds to explore the university’s 70-plus years of space research through conversations and virtual exhibits.

mars rover
nasa partner logo starry sky
rocket launching at night


Texas A&M continues to unlock humankind’s potential on Earth and beyond with new ideas and innovations, along with solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Experts from Texas A&M and across the nation will share insights into the future of space travel, building sustainable life in outer space and whether anyone can lay claim to renting billboards in space, or even on other planets (don’t laugh — some are trying!).

Who on Earth should Govern Space?

Who will make the rules once out of the Earth’s orbit? Can any commercial space company attempt to colonize Mars? A university president, the former director of space flight policy at SpaceX and an expert on the ownership of artifacts discovered in space confer with an editor and Pulitzer Prize finalist.

John L. Junkins, Ph.D.
Interim President, Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Texas A&M University

Michelle Hanlon
Associate Director, Center for Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law

Caryn Schenewerk
Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Relativity Space

Beth Daley
Editor, The Conversation

Pushing our Bodies and Minds Beyond the Limits

If the future of humankind relies on space, many believe that the mental challenges can be overcome, but what about our Earth-friendly bodies in such weightlessness? A former astronaut and a sport psychologist discuss the possibilities of long-term human presence in space.

Ryan Pittsinger, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling and Sport Psychology Services Texas A&M University

Jamie Stockwell
Deputy National Editor, The New York Times

Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D.
Former NASA Astronaut
Director, Aerospace Human Systems Laboratory, Texas A&M University

Lunar Village: The Future of Space Exploration

Four leading technologists and construction experts discuss with authority the feasibility of building a life-sustaining environment on other planets, along with creating zero-gravity live-work quarters. This is where space architecture, construction, robots and engineering intersect.

Rob Mueller
Senior Technologist, Kennedy Space Center
Co-Founder, Swamp Works

Peter J. Carrato
Senior Advisor, Bechtel

Pat Suermann, Ph.D.
Department Head, Construction Science, Texas A&M University College of Architecture

Nicole Shumaker
Research Specialist, Texas A&M University


All Texas A&M SXSW panel discussions will be staffed by the Division of Marketing and Communications. They will coordinate interviews, as well as videography and photography.

Inquiries can be emailed to tamunews@tamu.edu with "TAMU SXSW" in the subject line, please.

Space research started at Texas A&M before NASA was created. Here are some of our stories.