Dwayne C. Brown Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

1994 (Phone: 202/358-1600) RELEASE: 94-88 NASA DEDICATES RESEARCH FACILITY IN WEST VIRGINIA

June 1,

NASA today held a ceremonial dedication of the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) facility, a new research facility in Fairmont, West Va., that will support the agency's work in advanced research, stimulate commercialization efforts and provide training in a variety of engineering and technology areas. Participants in the dedication included Senator Robert C. Byrd, Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-WVa.), West Virginia University (WVU) President Neil Bucklew and many others representing the cooperative venture between WVU and NASA. "West Virginia is developing into a major high-tech area. This facility will be a prime example of government, industry and academia working together to develop faster, better and cheaper aerospace systems for our nation," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. The IV&V facility will house approximately 200 civil and contractor employees working on a variety of tools, techniques and applications for systems software. NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA), Washington, D.C., will manage and operate the facility. "This software is essential to the successful operation of NASA ground systems, spacecraft and aeronautical computers and their operating hardware," said Charles Mertz, Director, IV&V. Software engineers will perform IV&V functions for the International Space Station. The facility also will house portions of the Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Operations System. This will be EOS's main center for distribution of EOS data to the EOS data archives for study by U.S. and international principal investigators. EOS is the centerpiece of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, involving a 20-year study of Earth, focusing on climate change. -more-2-

In addition, the facility will work closely with WVU to develop and conduct a graduate-level program in the safety, reliability and quality assurance discipline. This program will evolve into a certified two-year curriculum, with students earning masters degrees in assurance technology. Assurance technology is the field of testing, analysis and risk management that increases the successful operation of flight systems. "Fairmont was chosen for its strong sense of community teamwork, its expanding role in the academic community and its proximity to high-tech organizations in the area. This area should provide significant contributions to our nation's competitiveness in the areas of research and technology," Mertz said. The overall goal of the IV&V facility is to become a Center of Excellence. Centers of Excellence were created in 1990 by NASA to develop NASA field centers as world leaders in specific areas of science, technology and research and development. -end-