Out of this World
America's space program is also front and center in Fairmont. NASA is
based hundreds of miles from West Virginia, but work going on here is critical
to maintaining safety in outer space. NASA has an operations center in the I-79
Technology Park, where the Independent Verification & Validation Facility (IV&V) is
responsible for verifying and validating mission-critical software on behalf of Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. IV&V was established in 1993 in the
wake of the Challenger accident. Now, no software goes into space without first being
checked in West Virginia. The facility has a full calendar of events and activities
open to the public. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities that will uniquely
inspire and engage future generations of explorers. Also, the IV&V Facility’s Educator
Resource Center provides free, NASA-endorsed science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics curriculum for educators and students.
Visit www.ivv.nasa.gov for more information.
A robotic arm, equipped with vision and
touch sensors, independently positions
itself to dock with a satellite. Once docked,
additional robotic operations will refuel
and repair the satellite.
In November 2010, the ribbon was cut on the WVU-NASA Robotics Center at
the tech park. Scientists and engineers at the center are developing software and
robotic components that will capture existing satellites to refuel and repair them
while in orbit. This technology will be utilized for future space missions as part of the
NASA Space Servicing Capabilities Project. The project development and robotic
technology will be showcased in outreach programs to schools around the state.
For more information contact Dr. Thomas Evans at Thomas.Evans@mail.wvu.edu.
The WVU-NASA Robotics Center uses
multiple robotic platforms to research
and test the application of robotic