CLARKSBURG — NASA has awarded a contract for providing maintenance and operations support to the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification & Validation facility in Fairmont to the West Virginia University Research Corporation.

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

“NASA’s IV&V Program has performed significant work on a multitude of missions and projects, and will provide services to NASA’s highest profile missions including Artemis,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Katherine Johnson was a beacon of inspiration, representing the best of NASA’s workforce, and as we look to the future I’m deeply confident in the continued relationship between the agency and West Virginia as we partner with West Virginia University. It will take the entire nation to put the first woman and next man on the Moon, and through this partnership West Virginia will play a key part in this historic accomplishment.”

U.S. representatives from West Virginia praised the move as a showing of NASA’s continued support of and investment in the region.

“NASA’s IV&V program is vitally important to its overall mission and will play a major role in making the Moon to Mars project successful. 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.”

Under the contract, the Morgantown-based corporation will provide support necessary to operate and maintain IV&V facilities, including such services as: administration and project management; institutional services; information technology; facilities maintenance; grounds keeping; and janitorial services.

“The path to outer space goes through West Virginia,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. “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.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said this move marks the latest in West Virginia’s history of contributing to NASA’s efforts.

“West Virginians have played a major role in NASA’s developments and achievements, dating back to the contributions of Hidden Figures’ Katherine Johnson and Rocket Boys’ Homer Hickam,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “IV&V and West Virginia University have helped place numerous students at NASA facilities over the years. I am proud that West Virginia University has been awarded this contract and look forward to continuing the positive relationship between West Virginia and NASA.”


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