Congressman Alan. B. Mollohan will join West Virginia University President James P. Clements; Frank Cepollina, deputy associate director for the space servicing capabilities project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and Gene Cilento, dean of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources on Monday (Nov. 29) to dedicate the WVU-NASA Robotics Center.

The Center for the Robotic Servicing of Orbital Space Assets, located at the West Virginia High Tech Consortium in Fairmont, has been established by WVU as part of a cooperative partnership with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

“This project highlights three elements that have been key to north central West Virginia’s growing reputation as a high tech magnet – West Virginia University’s research arm, the West Virginia High Tech Consortium and a growing NASA presence,” Mollohan said.

The Robotics Center provides the academic leadership for the collaborative scientific and engineering research associated with evaluating sensors and algorithms for autonomous rendezvous docking and small-scale contact dynamics for space robotic platforms supporting future Goddard-related space exploration missions.

“This is an exciting initiative, one built on collaboration and partnerships,” said Clements. “I am very proud that our WVU faculty, students and post-docs will be working alongside other scientists and researchers in developing robotic platforms for future space missions. It truly speaks to the high quality education and innovative research we are engaged in at WVU.”

WVU was awarded a grant from NASA in 2010 to begin to establish the lab. The Robotics Center is operated by the West Virginia University Research Corp.

“This is a great opportunity for the University to develop national visibility in robotics servicing of orbiting assts in the post shuttle era,” Cilento said. “The Robotics Center provides the potential for significant research and educational opportunities as well as continued high-tech workforce development that will also support economic development for the State of West Virginia.”



CONTACT: Nicole Riggleman; College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

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