NASA, Industry to collaborate on research

NASA's Center of Excellence for Information Technology at Ames Research Center will conduct joint research in cutting-edge technologies with industry partners at the NASA Research Park.

Henry McDonald, Ames Research Center director, and Jay Honeycutt, Lockheed Martin Space Operations president, signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to establish research collaborations at the NASA Research Park operated by the center in Silicon Valley. The center has signed agreements with the University of California Santa Cruz, Stanford University, San Jose State University and Foothill-DeAnza Community College in the past year, said Michael Marlaire, Ames' chief of development and communication.

Some of the best supercomputing resources are housed at the research park, Marlaire said. The emphasis of the NASA and Lockheed Martin work will be on astrobiology, but information technology research will be a key part of that work, he said.

"The core elements of astrobiology are information technology tools," Marlaire said. The development of nanotechnology to increase the speed of computers also will be part of the joint work, he said.

Lockheed Martin's work in space operations has mirrored Ames' effort in the past, and the agreement brings the proper researchers into the same environment to collaborate on those efforts, Marlaire said.

Lockheed Martin Space Operations also is the prime contractor for NASA's Consolidated Space Operations Contract, a 10-year, $3.4 billion contract to streamline NASA's satellite and shuttle ground control systems and communications networks.

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