FAIRMONT, W.Va. — NASA has awarded a multi-million dollar service and support contract to a Fairmont-based technology company. TMC Technologies of West Virginia will provide advanced systems and software engineering services to Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.
TMC President and Chief Executive Officer Wade Linger said the new contract valued at $24 million will continue the firm’s decade-long relationship with NASA’s IV&V Program.
“They write the software that’s going to fly into space,” Linger said last week on MetroNews “Talkline.” “NASA has decided it would be a good to have somebody other than those who wrote to review it before they use it.”
The company will support Jon McBride Software Testing and Research (JSTAR) within the NASA IV&V Program, named after West Virginia-born and retired astronaut Jon McBride. Those programs are the Simulation-to-Flight-1 SmallSat, also known as West Virginia’s First Spacecraft, the NASA Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) mission directorate to put humans in space, James Webb Space Telescope, and the NASA SET2 BPA would include expanded support for the NASA Artemis manned missions to the Moon.
“We write code that is a virtual copy of these satellites, so they can test the software against the computer,” Linger said. “If something goes wrong it doesn’t break anything- it’s just a computer.”
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 3, 2021
The layer of protection offered by the services provided can save money, time and keep programs on schedule with minimal failures.
“If there is some kind of a problem they detect close to a launch time they can rush back and run a bunch of scenarios through the stuff we write and find the solution without having to completely scrub the mission,” Linger said.
Currently, 40 of 125 employees at the company are working on the project. Most jobs with the company require a high-level of education and the ability to obtain a top secret security clearance.
“There are a lot of talented, educated West Virginians that have left the state and gone other places and we reach out to them first- we use LinkedIn to find them and we bring them back,” Linger said. “When they realize that these kind of jobs are available here and they move back to West Virginia they stay.”
According to Linger, winning contracts like this and the work his company does with the FBI and U.S. Navy provides many high-tech, well-paying jobs for this part of the state.
“There’s plenty of talent in and from West Virginia,” Linger said. “We just have to win the contracts like this to bring them here.”