This feature profiles NASA’s ten field centers located across the country. Each month, we’ll highlight a NASA center’s unique facilities, capabilities, and areas of research, as well as specific missions and projects underway at each center. If you are interested in partnering with a particular center, or in licensing specific technology, check out the More Information section at the end of each profile for contact information.
Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX supports the new era in space exploration and commercial spaceflight. As commercial partnerships assume an increasing role in spaceflight development and operations, JSC looks to leverage its experience, expertise, national investments, and capabilities to ensure mission success.
JSC, the world leader in human spaceflight, has more than 45 years of expertise in design of space vehicle systems, combining structural design, analysis, testing, dynamic loads analysis, and performance and materials evaluations for manned and unmanned space-faring vehicles. Optimizing human health and productivity for space exploration is one of JSC’s missions. The Center has the capability to measure human performance in space and implement countermeasures to improve productivity.
Although JSC is known for its contribution to aerospace, its expertise and facilities can also support a variety of other commercial applications, including avionics communication and software, radiation-resistant hardware, structure and materials development, integrated power, thermal management, mechanical separation, integrated spacecraft propulsion, and spacecraft cockpit rapid prototyping design.
Alliances to Shape the Future
JSC is establishing itself as a global innovation leader in human space exploration by successfully pursuing and maintaining strategic business opportunities and partnerships for JSC that maintain, enhance, or develop key competencies and technologies required for future space exploration, and leveraging other resources to maintain NASA’s objectives for space exploration.
For decades, NASA has triggered U.S. innovations and inventions, while nurturing the transfer of NASA-developed technologies to the private marketplace. JSC is now increasing its efforts to partner with outside entities to drive innovation and foster collaboration in addition to its traditional technology transfer efforts. The Strategic Opportunities and Partner - ships Development Office (SOPD) at JSC offers multiple types of partnership agreements to drive the infusion of technology, develop technology, and license and transfer NASA-developed technologies to the U.S. marketplace.
The SOPD provides a clear entry point for external aerospace and nonaerospace entities interested in partnering with JSC. In this role, SOPD seeks to establish new partnerships and integrate partnering efforts across the Center, serving as the facilitator for the development of all institutional Space Act Agreements for JSC and the White Sands Test Facility.
As a part of JSC’s SOPD, the Technology Transfer & Comm ercialization Office is working on innovative partnership models to enhance and to initiate technology research and development for infusion into the agency, as well as allow access for industry, commercial space, and academic partners to worldrenowned subject matter experts, testing, laboratory, and research facilities. The Technology Transfer Office facilitates the transfer and commercialization of NASA-sponsored research and technology development including industrial use of unique NASA capabilities and facilities. This includes managing JSC’s Intellectual Property Portfolio ranging from new technology reporting to licensing patented JSC technologies.
The SOPD oversees the JSC Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/ STTR) projects. These programs exist to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector by increasing participation by small business in federal research and technology development. Since January of 2010, JSC’s SBIR/STTR awards have totaled 117 awards with a value of $22.4 million.
For more than 50 years, NASA has developed technologies to orbit the Earth, land on the Moon, and explore the stars and galaxies, creating new ideas and innovations that benefit everyone on Earth through spinoffs. Spinoffs are the resulting commercial products whose inventions originate with NASA funding, research, licensing, facilities, and assistance.
For more information about JSC’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization office, visit http://Technology.jsc.nasa.gov; for more information about JSC’s capabilities and partnership opportunities, visit www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/capabilities/index.html; and for more information on the SBIR/STTR programs, visit www.sbir.nasa.gov.