NASA's Satellite Servicing Projects Division Hosts Academic Partnership Meeting

While summer intern season at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has ended, academic partnerships are always in full swing. Collaboration with academic institutions is critical to NASA's success. These valuable partnerships allow for sharing ideas and research and for developing creative solutions to persistent technological challenges.

On June 27, 2017, Goddard's Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) hosted an academic partnership meeting. Faculty, students and staff from eight institutions met with more than 30 SSPD team members. The group discussed work each university is doing and learned about developing SSPD technologies.

By participating in detailed briefings about SSPD projects, the academic partners can focus their work to support the division and future orbital robotic missions. NASA benefits from this collaboration; by learning about partners' capabilities, the SSPD team gets an idea of upcoming technologies that could one day be integrated into SSPD projects.

The institutions in attendance were Johns Hopkins University, West Virginia University, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Each university team investigates advanced technologies that will aid and enhance SSPD's on-orbit servicing and assembly capabilities.

"Our partners continue to impress us with their creativity and innovation," said Billy Gallagher, a senior robotics engineer for SSPD at Goddard. "I feel lucky to play a part in facilitating these important relationships."

Academic Partnerships Picture 2017

2017 Academic Partnerships group photo

Each university team is currently carrying out specific tasks and research that tie into SSPD's projects and missions:

Academic partners are vital to SSPD's projects. They investigate cutting edge technologies that will enhance state of the art robotic servicing and assembly in space, letting SSPD pursue new capabilities to support NASA's exploration of the solar system. Though SSPD regularly collaborates with its partners, the next formal academic partnerships meeting will be in spring 2018.

To learn more about SSPD, visit:

By Vanessa Lloyd
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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