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NASA support contract awarded to West Virginia University Research Corp.

MORGANTOWN — A contract for support services at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation facility in Fairmont, has been awarded to the West Virginia University Research Corp. in Morgantown, officials said.

The Operations and Maintenance 2 contract is a cost-no-fee contract and has a total potential value of $24.9 million. The contract begins Oct. 1 with a six-month base period followed by four one-year options and one six-month option.

WVU Research will provide support necessary to operate and maintain IV&V facilities. The contract includes administration and project management, institutional services, information technology, facilities maintenance, grounds keeping and janitorial services. Additional services may be required at NASA’s discretion for work relating to the operations, maintenance and repair or upgrade of the covered facilities.

“NASA has served as an important partner with our University for several years,” Fred King, vice president for research at WVU, said. “That partnership has elevated the profile of our University and has, most importantly, inspired our youth to consider careers in the science and engineering underlying our exploration of space. The partnership with the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility is one example of this great partnership.”

The multi-million contract was hailed by West Virginia’s congressional delegation.

“The path to outer space goes through West Virginia,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said. “The work done by the men and women at the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation facility ensures that the software that supports spaceflight, whether human or robotic, is safe and operational to meet mission objectives. I’m thrilled that this work will continue.”

West Virginians have played a major role in NASA’s developments and achievements, said Sen. Joe Manchin, citing West Virginians Katherine Johnson and Homer Hickam.

“(The facility) and West Virginia University have helped place numerous students at NASA facilities over the years,” he said.

Rep. David McKinley, an engineer, said NASA’s IV&V program will play a major role in making the moon to Mars project.

“We appreciate NASA’s commitment to the North Central West Virginia region,” said Rep. McKinley of West Virginia. “Their partnership with West Virginia University is mutually beneficial, and we look forward to strengthening that relationship in the years to come.”

The facility in Fairmont was renamed in February after Johnson, a NASA mathematician who was instrumental in the early days of the American space program. She calculated spacecraft trajectories.

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