NCAM certified by NASA as operation ready

The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), a department of the University of New Orleans located at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, has successfully completed a formal NASA operational readiness review in support of the Constellation Program.

The University of New Orleans announced on Feb. 18 that its National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), a department of the UNO College of Engineering located at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, has successfully completed a formal NASA Operation Readiness Review (ORR) in support of the Constellation Program.

NASA's Constellation Program is responsible for developing the Ares launch vehicles and the Orion crew capsule that will send astronauts to explore the moon by 2020.

Following the ORR, conducted by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), officials presented a Certificate of Completion which "certifies the NCAM-Louisiana Partnership and the University of New Orleans readiness for operations.”

"This is a monumental achievement,"said Bruce Brailsford, executive director of NCAM-LP. "The UNO-NCAM Center has passed a rigorous NASA review and is now certified to manufacture flight hardware for space travel. This places UNO among a small and select group of universities, which includes Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”

The announcement is the culmination of months of intensive preparation by the NCAM-LP staff. According to NASA documentation, an ORR "examines the actual system characteristics and the procedures used in the system or product's operation and ensures that all system and support (flight and ground) hardware, software, personnel, and procedures are ready for operations and that user documentation accurately reflects the deployed state of the system.”

ORR Chairman Wendell Colberg, Deputy Manager, Materials and Processes Laboratory, Engineering Directorate, MSFC, said, "The purpose of this effort (the ORR), was for NCAM to demonstrate readiness to partner and conduct operations with NASA, NASA contractors, and non-NASA entities with the technical and management discipline and rigor that we require from ourselves and our contractors. We are pleased to present the Certificate of Completion to NCAM in recognition of this successful review.”

NCAM is a partnership between NASA, the State of Louisiana, and UNO. The Center's advanced manufacturing equipment will be used in the production of several major components for the Constellation Program.

Information: www.ncamlp.org