Submitted by the Office of Communications at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center has been a hub of activity in West Park since breaking ground in 1941. The center employs more than 3,000 highly skilled employees – scientists, engineers, technicians and support persons. Many of them live in West Park.
Here are the center’s priorities in 2022.
Artemis heads to the Moon and back
2022 will be a landmark year for NASA. In February, the Artemis I mission will be the first launch of the Orion spacecraft atop the Space Launch System. In preparation, Glenn tested the Orion spacecraft at the Neil Armstrong Test Facility in 2019. Glenn will engage Ohio residents in the mission through public activities and events. See details on the NASA Glenn Web site.
Glenn, along with the European Space Agency and Airbus, also delivered the European Service Module for Artemis II to Kennedy Space Center. The service module will be integrated with the Orion spacecraft in 2022, as the agency prepares to launch Artemis II, the first crewed flight around the Moon and back, no later than May 2024.
“NASA is leading a sustainable return to the Moon with commercial and international partners to expand human presence in space and bring back new knowledge and opportunities,” said Dr. Marla E. Pérez-Davis, NASA Glenn director. “It’s an exciting time for the agency and our local research scientists and engineers play an important role helping to ensure mission safety and performance.”
Glenn continues to advance several electric propulsion technologies for space exploration.
- Develop the Power and Propulsion Element for Gateway, NASA’s orbiting lunar outpost.
- Test the NEXT-C gridded ion thruster on the DART mission.
- Launch the Photovoltaic Investigation on the Lunar Surface experiment to the Moon on an upcoming Commercial Lunar Payload Services flight. The experiment will provide a lunar surface demonstration of multiple solar cell technologies that could be used for future missions, and it will also inform the design of future high-voltage solar arrays.
- Perform mobility tests and rover tire development at the Simulated Lunar Operations Lab for future missions to the Moon and Mars.
Aeronautics tech to combat climate change, enable quiet supersonic flight
Glenn will continue to support the development of electric powertrains, critical components, and more efficient aircraft engines to bring advanced technologies to the U.S. aviation market. The agency’s goal is to combat climate change, reduce costs, and promote American leadership.
“Along the way, we’ll engage and inspire future generations of diverse scientists and engineers, who will lead the nation to a net-zero carbon emissions aviation future,” said Dr. Pérez-Davis.
The center also will support the initial flights of the X-57 Maxwell, NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, which will help develop certification standards for future electric general aircraft, and the X-59 QueSST, a low-boom technology demonstrator that will help usher in quiet commercial supersonic flight over land.
New Facilities Support Future Missions
Glenn continues to make progress on its Master Plan, which envisions how the center’s facilities will transform over the next 20 years to support the changing NASA mission.
This spring, Glenn plans to open its new Research Support Building, a 64,000-square-foot multi-use office building, providing office space for approximately 160 permanent occupants. The building will be home to a cafeteria, “hoteling spaces” for employees on part-time telework, exchange store, training rooms, and conference rooms. It will poise the center to support the future of work and begin building the workforce of tomorrow.
In the fall, Glenn plans to complete construction of its new Aerospace Communications Facility, which will be NASA’s premier facility for radio frequency communications technology research and development.
Partnerships boost economic growth
Glenn leaders recognize the growth of this region is bolstered when it partners with others to accelerate technology development. Recent engagements with the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University are helping to deepen relationships and identify research and development areas.
NASA’s partnership with JumpStart, Inc. continues. It is designed to identify technologies ready for commercialization by local entrepreneurs. Glenn plans to continue to identify and collaborate with strategic partners in academia, industry, and other institutions, like Case Western Reserve University and the Air Force Research Laboratory, to achieve its goals and support Ohio’s economy.