TEES Space Engineering Research Center to partner with CASIS

August 3, 2012
| By: Aubrey Bloom

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) announced July 25 that it has named the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) an implementation partner.

SERC is a TEES engineering center that specializes in providing space-related services and technologies to government and industry clients, often in close collaboration with Texas A&M University faculty and students.

CASIS was chosen by NASA in 2011 to be the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The mission of CASIS is to maximize use of this unique platform for innovation, to benefit all humankind and inspire a new generation to look to the stars. The CASIS organization has the responsibility of inciting the imagination of entrepreneurs and scientists, accelerating and facilitating space-based microgravity research, as well as creating public awareness of National Lab activities and making space science more accessible to the world. CASIS, acting in partnership with NASA, has the charter to select research and fund projects; by connecting investors to scientists with great ideas, and by making access to the station faster and easier; enabling groundbreaking new technologies and products that will tangibly affect our lives.

To facilitate its mission, CASIS is partnering with a number of experienced organizations as implementation partners. These partners have the capability to provide a wide range of services to experimenters to help them build microgravity experiments and get them placed on the International Space Station. These services include mission planning, experiment design, ground testing, safety and risk assessment, and other experiment payload integration tasks.

SERC was selected after a series of interactions with CASIS, including a visit to center by CASIS Chief Operation Officer Duane Ratliff and discussions at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference. The SERC is only one of two university-centered organizations named as an implementation partner.

SERC Director Chip Hill said that this selection follows the announcement earlier this year that XCOR had chosen the SERC as a payload integrator for its suborbital Lynx space plane, enhancing SERC's position for providing microgravity and zero-gravity space payload integration services.

SERC is currently teamed with NASA Johnson Space Center on a payload that will undergo parabolic flights on The Zero G Corporation aircraft in September, followed by suborbital flights on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space plane.

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