In a pioneering move, the first-ever space science park on Earth is slated to be established north of the Ohio State University Airport. Ohio State’s Board of Trustees recently granted approval for a 40-year lease of a 10-acre parcel on West Dublin-Granville Road to Voyager Space Science Park, marking the initiation of the terrestrial space lab project.

The designated land in northwest Columbus will serve as an earthly counterpart to the George Washington Carver Space Park, an existing laboratory on the International Space Station. Voyager Space Science Park, in collaboration with Ohio State, the state of Ohio, JobsOhio, and One Columbus, secured the bid for the location of their space park, known as Starlab Ground Location-US.

The space lab, designed to support ground-based research and development for the Starlab space station, will be constructed on the Ohio State property. Voyager and Nanoracks, a private space company, won a $160 million bid from NASA to develop Starlab, envisioned as the “first continuously crewed, free-flying, commercial space station.” This station is intended to serve NASA and various space agencies, with research conducted simultaneously on both the International Space Station and the terrestrial space lab in Ohio.

The 10-acre lease on 3025 W. Dublin-Granville Road is part of a larger 56-acre plot acquired by Ohio State’s board in 1972, with an additional 70 acres reserved for future aerospace research development. Voyager, operating from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Studies facilities, aims to contribute to Ohio’s agriculture through research on water preservation, crop genetics, production efficiency, and animal health.

Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Voyager Space, emphasized Ohio’s rich history in aviation and aerospace innovation, positioning it as the ideal location for the terrestrial facility supporting the George Washington Carver Science Park.

The initial 10-acre lease sets the stage for the future development of aerospace-related research facilities, accompanied by a 25-year rent abatement for Voyager. The company also retains the option for two consecutive 10-year lease renewals and holds the right of first refusal for an additional 70 acres of surrounding land for the next five years, solidifying Ohio State’s commitment to fostering advancements in space science and research.

By Impact Lab